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Obama T-Shirts Must Be Hot in Gaza

left: Not the t-shirt three brothers from Gaza tried to order from Obama’s website.

The Wall Street Journal blog reported that last year three brothers from a Gazan refugee camp tried to donate $33,000 to the Obama campaign — by buying t-shirts from its websites. They claimed to be US citizens and listed their address with “GA”, the abbreviation for the state Georgia, and the one that best stands in for Gaza (I love that).

They were able to purchase 32 t-shirts in about 97 on-line attempts. Now that is persistence. What astounds me most about this story is that so much money would be given from such a poor place. In Gaza, 70% of the nonrefugees make less than $1.20 a day. This fact makes alone this story a bit hard to believe. Perhaps it was orchestrated by anti-Obama folks. Who knows.

The Obama campaign complied with federal election prohibitions against foreign donations and refunded most of the money last year and the rest recently. If it was a set-up, they did not go for the bait.

This came right when the campaign excised more Arab-Islamic controversy potential. Its volunteer Muslim Outreach Coordinator, Chicago attorney Mazen Asbahi, resigned after 9 days to avoid any unwanted attention to his past associations with groups and individuals some believe to be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Yes, it’s probably all bull. But the standard is higher is when you’re an Arab or Muslim. And it’s even higher when 12% of Americans think the candidate is Muslim.

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13 Responses to “Obama T-Shirts Must Be Hot in Gaza”

  1. What astounds me most about this story is that so much money would be given from such a poor place.

    You’d be surprised how much money it costs to fund a war machine against Israel. Fear not, Saudi and Iranian oil money, trafficked into Gaza in suitcases, paid for those t-shirts.

    In Gaza, 70% of the nonrefugees make less than $1.20 a day. This fact makes alone this story a bit hard to believe. Perhaps it was orchestrated by anti-Obama folks.

    That’s quite a reach, Will. You’re stretching yourself into absurdity. No conspiracy is too far fetched, so long as Palestinians are the victims.

    Posted by Firouz | August 6, 2008, 2:06 pm
  2. How are Palestinians the victims in this one, Firouz?As for there being a conspiracy, I suggest it is possible. I think you know better than to take every news report at face value.

    Posted by Will | August 6, 2008, 10:09 am
  3. Come on, Will. This is even more far fetched if you actually read the WSJ article:

    The donations came in between Sept. 20 and Dec. 6 and virtually all of the money, about $33,500, was returned by December 6. But the refunds weren’t reported to the Federal Election Commission due to a technical error, campaign officials said.

    That’s the end of the story.
    Some Palestinians tried to buy a ton of Obama t-shirts directly from the campaign, probably to resell in WB/Gaza or elsewhere in the Middle East. They probably didn’t even know they were funding his campaign and were just trying to buy authentic Obama shirts for resale.

    The Palestinians I know would never give up their hard earned money this way. If Hamas was behind this, they would use the money to pay their forces, not fund a political campaign halfway around the world. $33k is nothing. A government like China can funnel millions into a candidate’s campaign, as they did in the 90s with Clinton, and have some effect. $33k is about half the cost of one of the big rallies Obama does once a week. That enough for a year’s worth of maybe one full time paid staffer, out of the hundreds that he has. It’s nothing.

    There was no conspiracy. The money was being refunded back almost immediately. If someone was trying to set Obama up, they would have done something more elaborate, like bundling campaign contributions through CAIR, or whatnot.

    Let’s be honest. Emily is writing about this because there is an expectation among many of you Paliphiles that this country hates Palestinians and Arabs, and Obama being connected with Arabs in any way will be viewed as a negative for his campaign. She was railing against that, not the details of this particular situation.

    That’s why she – not to recycle a verb – bundled the story with Mazen Asbahi.

    Posted by Firouz | August 7, 2008, 6:57 am
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