Pro-Israel figures will “infest” President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, a Palestinian-American Columbia University professor and notorious critic of the Jewish state declared on Tuesday.
“There are a group of people, a lot of them in Israel and some of them in the United States, who live in a world of their own,” Rashid Khalidi — the Edward Said professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia — stated during an interview aired by Chicago’s WBEZ 91.5 public radio station. “That is to say, they think that whatever they want and whatever cockamamie schemes they can cook up can be substituted for reality.”
“So they have a vision whereby the occupied territories aren’t occupied,” Rashidi continued. “They have a vision whereby there is no such thing as the Palestinians. They have a vision whereby international law doesn’t exist. They have a vision whereby the United States can unilaterally cancel a decision of the United Nations. And unfortunately these people infest the Trump transition team, these people are going to infest our government as of January 20th. And they are hand in glove with a similar group of people in the Israeli government and in Israeli political life who think that whatever they think can be imposed on reality.”...It's pretty rich for a guy who lives in a Columbia U./Edward Said bubble to whinge about the cockamamie and the unreal (adjectives which could be used to describe both the bubble and the collected works of Said and Khalidi).
You can see where he's coming from, however. From his perspective, the worst sort of "infestation" of all is the Zionist kind.
Update: Re Edward Said's most famous and influential book, Martin Kramer employs the perfect descriptor:
Orientalism by Edward Said (1978). Sigh… I suppose “baneful” is the best adjective. No book has done more to obscure the Middle East, and impart a sense of guilt to anyone who has had the audacity to represent it. The French scholar Jacques Berque (praised by Said) put it succinctly: Said had done “a disservice to his countrymen in allowing them to believe in a Western intelligence coalition against them.” But the book gave rise to a cottage industry in Western academe, and helped tilt the scales in academic appointments. Its influence may be waning, but it’s still on syllabi everywhere.Update: Now that the Obama presidency is no more, do you think the L.A. Times will agree to release that Obama-Khalidi tape, the one it's been sitting on for the past eight years?