Early this fall, Palestinian activists plan to try to run another ship through the Israeli Gaza blockade. This time for Obama, it's personal.
In a move that must be giving Obama's political team dyspepsia about Florida, Ohio, New Jersey and other potential battleground states where Jewish voters might make the difference, the Palestinians have decided to call the boat: "THE AUDACITY OF HOPE."
That's right, "The Audacity of Hope." And contributing yo the fundraising effort is none other than Obama pal – probably Once and Future Pal, since hanging with him currently is bad political form – Rashid Khalidi.
Here's a take on their relationship from an April 10, 2008 piece in the Los Angeles Times.
Chicago – It was a celebration of Palestinian culture — a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.
A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.
His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "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."
Rashidi, in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz the other day, said he will raise money to buy the ship and suggested its name and provenance will offer it protection.
"Given the national-religious hierarchy which determines what the IDF can do to whom, the fact that the ship is American will make it harder to deal with it as the Mavi Marmara was dealt with."
Can you imagine Israelis commandos storming "The Audacity of Hope?" And when does the good ship "Dreams from My Father" sail?