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At the American Academy of Religion conference, I met Michelle Rosenthal, a professor at University of Haifa in Israel.Two interesting things:–When it comes to perceptions of the U.S. election, the economy is trumping foreign policy even in Israel. Israelis who had concerns about Obama not being pro-Israel enough are increasingly focusing on how the American economic downturn is hurting the Israeli high-tech industry.–She was a professor at University of Chicago at the same time as Rashid Khalidi (who’s been attacked an anti-semitic Obama pal by the McCain camp). Rosenthal’s memory: “one of the most moderate Pallestinians out there. Most of my Israeli colleagues are to the left of him.”This brings me to an unusual exchange between CNN’s Rick Sanchez and McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb on whether Obama hangs out with anti-semites: