Senator Obama was confronted at a campaign stop today and questioned on his affiliation with Rashid Khalidi. Fox New reports:
A persistent questioner at a campaign stop Thursday grilled Barack Obama on his ties to a professor with pro-Palestinian views, prompting Obama to speak at some length against “guilt by association” and about his support for the Jewish community.
The at-times heated exchange occurred during a town hall event held at a synagogue in Boca Raton, Fla. The questioner focused on Obama’s relationship to Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia University who has drawn fire for some of his criticisms of Israel.
Obama responded by saying he has met Khalidi and spoken with him in an academic context, when Obama was teaching at the University of Chicago.
“He is not one of my advisers. He’s not one of my foreign policy people,” Obama said. “He is a respected scholar, although he vehemently disagrees with a lot of Israel’s policy.”
What about when “respected scholar” Khalid hosted a fund-raiser for then candidate Obama in 2000? The information below comes from a highly partisan source, so it must be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. As reported on BarackObama.com’s “fact check” of his views on Israel:
Rashid Khalidi: Obama Was Never Supportive Of The Palestinian Cause. The New York Daily News reported, “Obama got help from an unlikely source yesterday when pro-Palestinian Prof. Rashid Khalidi denied a report that Obama used to be sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and had recently shifted his stance to pro-Israel. Khalidi spoke to the Daily News to rebut a report on a pro-Palestinian blog that was circulated by Clinton supporters. The blog, the Electronic Intifada, offered no evidence that Obama used to be supportive of the Palestinian cause, but cited private conversations, including one at a 2000 Obama fund-raiser hosted by Khalidi. Khalidi, now head of Columbia University’s Middle East Institute, said he hosted the fund-raiser because he was friends with Obama while the two lived in Chicago.” [New York Daily News, 3/6/07]
Odd that Obama didn’t mention this friendship today or the fact Khalidi raised money for his campaign. Wonder why he’d leave that out?