Contact: Rafi Dajani
Phone: 202-887-0177

Washington, DC, July 26 - The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today expressed full support for Dr. Rashid Khalidi against recent charges of plagiarism. Professor Khalidi is Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University's Middle East Institute. Professor Khalidi served as president of the board of directors of the American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ) until 2003, when ACJ was dissolved and ATFP was created in its place, at which time he served as vice-president for one year.

Professor Khalidi has recently been the target of accusations of plagiarism for an article that appeared on the now discontinued ACJ website, the byline of which had mistakenly been attributed to Professor Khalidi by an ACJ staff member. ATFP had received a number of calls from the media asking for clarification on the issue. In response, ATFP executive director Rafi Dajani responded with the following statement: "The byline to the 'Jerusalem, A Concise History' article was changed from 'By Rashid Khalidi' to 'Compiled by ACJ from a variety of sources' for the simple reason that at the time of its 2001 posting, an ACJ staffer had mistakenly attributed the article to Dr. Khalidi. Dr. Khalidi had only contributed to the article at the time and was mistakenly given full accreditation for it. Even though Dr. Khalidi was president of the board of directors of the ACJ at the time, he was not involved in any way in posting articles on, or making changes to the ACJ website, nor in supervising day-to-day activities of the ACJ. The mistake escaped unnoticed until it was brought to our attention in May 2005 as a result of the plagiarism contention. That was when the byline change was made to correct the error."

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Commenting on the issue, ATFP president Dr. Ziad Asali said: "Professor Khalidi is an outstanding historian and scholar who has made invaluable contributions to our country's understanding of the Middle East, and ATFP is fully confident in Professor Khalidi's integrity. To assume that Professor Khalidi, the author of numerous books, articles and opinions would resort to plagiarism for a website article is categorically rejected. As far as we are concerned, this matter is closed."

The ATFP is a not-for-profit corporation that aims to educate the  American people about the national security interests of the United  States in establishing a Palestinian state. Specifically, ATFP seeks to  promote the awareness of the far-reaching benefits that Palestinian  statehood will have for the United States in the following areas: (1)  enhancing national security, (2) proliferation of American values of  freedom and democracy, and (3) expansion of economic opportunities  throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds.

American Task Force on Palestine
815 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006
Phone (202)887-0177 Fax (202)887-1920