Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright Come Together for Peace in the Mideast

By Camela Furry in News on May 18, 2009 4:40PM

Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. and Bill Ayers paired up Sunday to lead community activists, clergy, and residents in Oak Park on an annual walk to rally for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The two drew over 400 people to a forum before the walk held at the First United Church of Oak Park and urged a new perspective on the Mideast conflict more in line with the President’s. According to the Tribune, The Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine, the organizers of the event, said Ayers and Wright were invited for their work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not their political notoriety.

During the 2008 presidential campaign Obama struggled to distance himself from both Wright and Ayers. Wright was Obama’s former pastor at the Trinity United Church of Christ whose controversial sermons became widely publicized during the campaign; and questions about the closeness of his relationship with Ayers, a former leader of the radical left organization the Weather Underground group, raised uncertainty about Obama’s character and politics.

According to the Tribune:

Ayers recalled feeling “support and solidarity” with Wright when he became a lightning rod during the presidential contest. Though he blasted the guilt by association, Ayers also poked fun at the “terrorist” label assigned to him and that of a “fiery preacher” given to Wright.

President Obama is slated to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.