In the sixties, Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn were members of the Weather Underground, a communist terrorist group that planted bombs at the Pentagon, the Capitol building, and other government buildings. Ayers himself planted a bomb at a statue commemorating police casualties during the 1886 Haymarket riots in Chicago. When a bomb he was hoping to use to kill American soldiers in New Jersey exploded prematurely in a house, Ayers became for ten years a fugitive from justice, but all charges against him were dropped in 1980 when an FBI program that was investigating the Weathermen was accused of improprieties.
Ayers, however, remains unrepentant, saying in 2001: “I don’t regret setting bombs...I feel we didn’t do enough.”[i]
Leaving his terrorist activities behind, Ayers served his cause as part of the left’s long march into the institutions. He became a respectable professor at the University of Chicago. One of his neighbors was an ambitious young man named Barack Hussein Obama. In 1995, Obama launched his political career with a run for the Illinois State Senate, and he began his campaign with a fundraising event at the Chicago home of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.[ii]
Later, State Senator Obama wrote a glowing endorsement of Ayers’ book A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court.[iii] And when Obama served as Board Chairman of a philanthropic group known as the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, that group gave over $600,000 in grants to the Small Schools Workshop, an organization founded by Ayers and headed by Mike Klonsky, leader of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) (CP-ML), a Maoist party in the United States.[iv]
For his part, Obama was dishonest about the significance of this association, dismissing the aging terrorist as a casual acquaintance: Ayers, said Obama, was merely “a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received an official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from (sic) on a regular basis.” The terrorist attacks? “Now, Mr. Ayers is a 60 plus year old individual who lives in my neighborhood, who did something I deplore 40 years ago when I was six or seven years old. By the time I met him, he was a professor of education at the University of Illinois.”
Yet records don’t justify his having been so dismissive. Ayers and Obama were also both Board members of Chicago’s Wood Fund between December 1999 and December 2002. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “that board met four times a year, and members would see each other at occasional dinners the group hosted.”[v]
The old terrorist Bill Ayers, who just happens to live in Barack Obama’s old neighborhood, but who hardly knows the President and has had only the slightest casual contact with him over the years, visited the White House twice between January and October 2009.
Obama’s association with Ayers became well known during the campaign of 2008, although predictably enough, the real background of it never got a great deal of attention from the mainstream media. What was not as well known as their Weathermen activities was Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn’s virulent anti-Semitism in the 1960s and 1970s – including the hatred for Jews and Israel expressed in his 1973 book Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism – the “Political Statement of the Weather Underground,” which he coauthored with Dohrn.
The book’s dedication page lists numerous “victims of imperialism,” including Sirhan Sirhan, who assassinated Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 because of Kennedy’s support for the State of Israel. RFK’s murder is thought to have been the first “Palestinian” terrorist attack in the United States of America. In Prairie Fire itself, Ayers and Dohrn characterize Israel as an “expansionist power, based on Zionist colonialism.” It asserts that “from its inception, Zionism has been an imperial ideology, presented as an alternative to communism,” and claims that “the Zionist state is clearly the aggressor, the source of violence and war in the Mideast, the occupier of stolen lands…It is racist and expansionist – the enemy of the Palestinians, the Arab people, and the Jewish people.”
Ayers and Dohrn end their condemnation of Israel with a ringing peroration: “The U.S. people have been seriously deceived about the Palestinians and Israel. … SELF-DETERMINATION FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE! U.S. OUT OF THE MIDEAST! END AID TO ISRAEL!”[i]