In a front page Los Angeles Times article "Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Obama" , a going away party for Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian academic and activist with a long-record of anti-Israel action, Barack Obama gave a special tribute to Khalidi, his friend and frequent dinner companion. Then state senator Obama spoke warmly about the meals prepared by Khalidi's wife and credited his many talks with Khalidi as being:
"... consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."
The article made clear that Obama's private conversations over the years -- not Obama speeches or campaign literature -- gave them hope that America's policies would radically change. He was present at many events where anger at Israeli and US Middle East policy was freely expressed.
Now comes word that Khalidi, who now is the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University (itself a hotbed of anti-Israel activity among staff and students) bemoans that it is "unsatisfactory" that Hamas, the Palestinian terror group, is "too weak" to have fired rockets into Israel in the last nine months since the end of Operation Cast Lead (the operation that Israel engaged at the end of last year to stop the incessant rocket attacks). And he has tenure.
I wonder if Khalidi text messages Obama with more tutorials about the Middle East? Maybe something like this, from Candace de Russy of NRO's phi beta cons blog:
In an interview sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, out-and-out declares it "unsatisfactory" that Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization, is "too weak" to have fired a rocket in almost nine months since the end of Israel's attack on Gaza in January