Rashid Khalidi, a friend of President Obama's active in Palestinian causes, has signed an appeal for funds to send to Gaza an aid ship that would be named after the president's best-selling book, "The Audacity of Hope."Ouch. Yes, the same Rashid who was the subject of that videotaped going away party that Obama attended along with Ayers and Dohrn that the LA Times refused to release before the election (has anyone checked the J-list archives on that one)? Conventional wisdom said that Khalidi or others might have taken some jabs at Israel, which would have been inconvenient for publication a few weeks before the election. Sort of like a mystery DUI. Indeed..
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment. In response to an e-mail asking whether the appeal is embarrassing to the president, Khalidi said that he was not aware the boat would be named after Obama's book when he agreed to add his name to the list of sponsors.It will be interesting if they now send him under the bus, assuming this gets much more press. But it's guaranteed to if they get the funding, isn't it? The name ensures it, so long as it remains.
"But if the name is a problem for the administration, it can simply insist publicly that Israel lift the siege: end of problem, end of embarrassment," he wrote, "That of course would require it to respond to the systematic mendacity of those in Congress and elsewhere who support the siege, and indeed whatever else the Israeli government does."
Khalidi added: "I signed because the siege/blockade of Gaza, which is effectively supported by the United States, is a disgrace. I support the idea because it may cause the media to pay attention to the effective imprisonment and collective punishment of 1.5 million people who by the admission of Israeli officials, are being subjected to this ordeal in order to bring down their government. As the Goldstone Report suggested, this may rise to the level of a war crime, in which our country is complicit. That is truly embarrassing."