Fact check: Does group McCain chairs have link to Columbia professor Khalidi?
The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, on Wednesday, October 29, responded to Republican opponent Sen. John McCain criticism of Obama's relationship with Rashid Khalidi, an Arab studies professor at Columbia University, by suggesting that McCain also had a link to Khalidi. It said, "John McCain should answer why, under his own chairmanship, the International Republican Institute repeatedly funded an organization Khalidi founded, the Center for Palestine Research and Studies, over the course of many years."
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McCain and vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin have raised the issue of Barack Obama's relationship with Khalidi, a scholar who has been critical of Israel and U.S. foreign policy. Palin, on October 29 in Ohio, described him as a "radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama going back several years." She also called him a "political ally" of Obama.
Obama knows Khalidi from their days in Chicago, but his campaign says he "has been clear and consistent on his support for Israel, and has been clear that Rashid Khalidi is not an adviser to him or his campaign and that he does not share Khalidi's views."
Since 1993, McCain has been chairman of the International Republican Institute — a nonprofit and nonpartisan group that helps promote democratic practices and institutions across the globe.....................