10.28.2008

rashid khalidi

The McCain campaign is now in a frenzy because Obama might have a...brace yourselves...Palestinian acquaintance. The horror!

The Palestinian in question is Rashid Khalidi. Go ahead, Google him. Find out all the dirt on him. He's a professor at Columbia, and previously taught at Georgetown. His crime? Being a Palestinian-American who, get this, supports the rights of Palestinians. The horror x 2!

Is that no longer allowed? Is the criteria now that even a Palestinian must support a 100% pro-Israeli position, and any refusal to do so is controversial? Ridiculous. This marginalization of anything and anybody Palestinian is disgusting, not to mention un-American.

I am hoping that Obama takes a strong stand against this sort of Daniel Pipes-ian anti-Palestinian bullying. The politics of the issue make me doubtful that he will. My hope is that over time the "Israel is 100% right and Palestinians are 100% wrong" viewpoint will wither away and a more nuanced and realistic viewpoint will take its place. 

It's one thing to be pro-Israel. It's another thing to be anti-Palestinian and treat an entire population as something to be distanced from. McCain has chosen the latter path.

There was once a time I really did respect McCain. Those days are long gone.

UPDATE: This makes such Palestinian-bashing even more disgusting:
During the 1990s, while he served as chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI), McCain distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including one worth half a million dollars.
 What a pathetic opportunist. 
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