WASHINGTON - A fundraising campaign is currently underway in the United States to finance the purchase of an American ship in an effort to break the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip in the early autumn. The ship is to be named after U.S. President Barack Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope."
If that isn't enough to stir the ghosts of the 2008 American presidential election, one of the prominent figures to support the initiative is Columbia University history professor Rashid Khalidi, a well-known critic of Israel whose friendship with the American president from their days together in Chicago engendered criticism of Obama.The audacity of Zionhass is that it purports to be about humanitarianism when, in fact, it's about eliminationism. Not that Obama, who is thrilled to count the odious Khalidi as a close, personal pal, would have so much as a glimmer of a clue about that.
An email being circulated by pro-Palestinian activists in the U.S. said the goal of the fundraising campaign is to raise at least $370,000 next month to obtain possession of a ship that could accommodate between 40 and 60 people and for operational expenses. The e-mail said the ship will join a flotilla of other vessels from Europe, Canada, India, South Africa and the Middle East in an additional attempt to break the Israeli naval blockade.
Right-wing Internet-based blog columnists immediately seized on the involvement of Khalidi, whom they portrayed as a friend of Obama who was supporting Hamas. Khalidi said he does not know what the ship will ultimately be named, but said the White House should not be embarrassed by the name "The Audacity of Hope" and should instead call for Israel's naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled territory to be lifted...
Update: Rashid isn't the only Obama buddy who's hot for the flotilla.
Update: Better hurry, Rashid. There's no telling how much longer Gazans can hold life and limb together in such belt-tightening times.