20 July '10
Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, has signed an appeal for funds to outfit a ship--to be named The Audacity of Hope after Barack Obama's second book--that will challenge the Israeli blockade of Gaza in September or October, according to a report by Robert Mackey at The Lede, a blog of the New York Times. His wife Mona is also a signatory.
The appeal is posted at the site USTOGAZA.ORG, which says the ship will sail from the US to the Eastern Mediterranean, where it will join ships from "Europe, Canada, India, South Africa and parts of the Middle East." The appeal employs the word "we" when speaking of the upcoming trip, which gives the impression that the signatories intend to be aboard.
The site's opening paragraph is laden with falsehoods of commission and omission:
This is an important moment in history. In the aftermath of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla massacre and increased world-wide scrutiny of Israel's blockade of Gaza, the Israeli government has mounted a huge public relations campaign spreading the lie that by letting a few more items into Gaza the blockade has been lifted. This is not the reality. Gaza is still under siege, vital building materials and other supplies are banned, exports of goods from Gaza are denied and neither ships nor people can travel without permission from Israel, permission which Israel will not give. Gaza is essentially an open-air prison under a U.S.-backed Israeli blockade.
Somehow, USTOGAZA omitted reference to this video, which shows Israeli commandos being brutally attacked by those on board.
It notes the amount of money needed and the size of the ship:
We turn to you to help make the U.S. boat, The Audacity of Hope, a reality. We must raise at least $370,000 in the next month. These funds will be used to purchase a boat large enough for 40-60 people, secure a crew, and cover the licensing and registering of the boat. In addition, the funds will subsidize some other costs of sending a U.S. delegation.
Mackey's brief report notes the Khalidi-Obama connection, about which CW examined closely during the 2008 presidential campaign:
(Read full article)
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