Obama’s Trinity Church and Hamas

The latest buzz about Senator Barack Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ is about an opinion piece by Hamas senior official Mousa Abu Marzook. It was printed in the pastor’s column of the Trinity church bulletin in July 22, 2007, when Rev. Jeremiah Wright was still officially the senior pastor.

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The editorial originally appeared in the LA Times and was criticized for being grossly inaccurate. And the author, Abu Marzook, the deputy of the political bureau of Hamas, which the State Department considers to be an official terrorist organization, has been accused of funneling money to al Qaeda through the Global Relief Foundation and the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.

So what’s the context? Why have I found this so intriguing enough to track down as many of the original sources as I could find and put them in one place? Maybe the most interesting thing about it is it’s lack of context. The entire editorial was just reprinted in the church bulletin, but with a new title ,”A fresh view of the Palestinian struggle.” Is it just meant to be something different and maybe easy to reprint in the summer when a church’s staff and clergy is mainly on vacation? Or is it meant as an endorsement? Reprinted as it was on the pastor’s page, and taken in context with Wright’s Libya visit with Qaddafi, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan, I would take it as an endorsement. I would like to see an explanation, but maybe it is all the more interesting, and flexible in terms of future usefulness, for not having one.

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