RASHID KHALIDI: Khalidi is a scholar and author on Middle Eastern affairs who has criticized Israeli policies and was part of a Palestinian advisory panel to peace talks in the early 1990s.
He's also a friend of Obama.
They met while both were teaching at the University of Chicago and living in the same neighborhood. Obama and his wife, Michelle, sometimes had dinner with Khalidi and his wife, Mona. The Khalidis hosted a political fundraiser for Obama in 2000, and the Woods Fund charity gave money to the Arab-American Action Network, run by Mona Khalidi, while Obama served on the charity's board.
Khalidi and Obama have both said they hold very different opinions on Israeli issues, but their friendship has been used to raise questions about Obama's support for Israel — and to generate Internet headlines such as "Meet Obama's Terrorist Friend."
Late in the 2008 presidential campaign, the Republican nominee, John McCain, and Palin criticized Obama for attending a 2003 party for Khalidi. Obama's campaign dismissed the complaints, saying Khalidi was not an adviser to him and that Obama does not share Khalidi's views.