THE PERFECT COINCIDENCE OF NEED AND ability: the Palestinians and Hanan Mikhail-Ashrawi. That's why it is her face you see, her voice you hear speaking for her people, brilliantly recasting their cause as a cry for human justice. No longer can the world sum up -- and dismiss -- the Palestinians in the portrait of a stubble-bearded man wrapped in a kaffiyeh. This woman looks civilized, unthreatening, someone you'd like to invite to dinner, and she speaks with a compelling eloquence. With exquisite timing or luck or preternatural planning, she was there, this medieval-literature scholar, devoted mother, Christian and woman, exactly...

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