A bunch of high-profile leftists have signed a statement denouncing the “witch-hunt” against Khalek as part of an ongoing campaign to defend her against angry, largely Arab activists opposed to Assad. The statement, not the first, deals with the withdrawal of an invitation to speak to SJP at the U. of North Carolina. A Shadowproof article indicates the kind of opposition to her appearance she ran into:
Amr Kawji said to the SJP chapter, “Save yourselves the embarrassment and cancel your event with Rania Khalek—an Islamophobic pro-Assad propagandist. So ashamed.”
“As a Syrian American (and former SJP member),” he wrote on their Facebook event page, “I am asking you kindly to either cancel this event with Rania Khalek or replace her with a coherent speaker. Rania’s comments on Syria and Islam have been extremely hurtful to many people, and she should not be allowed to continue to spew her propaganda. Save yourselves the embarrassment and please cancel the event or find someone else.”
Adam Sabra, a professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara, also wrote on the Facebook event page, “I share other people’s concerns about inviting Rania Khalek to campus. In particular, her support for the Syrian regime undermines her credibility to speak on behalf of the Palestinian cause. I ask you to reconsider.”
Now, if the pro-Khalek statement has the effect of intimidating people like Kawji and Sabra from posting such comments on social networks in advance of a future Khalek appearance, can we conclude that they have become victims of McCarthyism as well? Just asking.
This is what happens when you go out on a limb to write Assadist propaganda. When Mother Agnes Mariam was invited to speak at John Rees’s pro-Assad confab in England a few years ago, people pressured Owen Jones and Jeremy Scahill to withdraw, which they did. So did the degenerate nun. Everybody on Rees’s side raised a stink about her being silenced, like Neil Clark writing for RT.com.
The next flare-up was over Tim Anderson speaking at a conference on refugees on a Greek island. Anderson, who is a whole order of magnitude more toxic than Khalek, was disinvited and then re-invited. Here’s Anderson blasting those who would deny him his free speech rights, on Global Research of course.
This stuff goes on all the time when it comes to Syria. You are talking about a deep divide on the left over matters that have the same intensity as the Spanish Civil War. I personally am opposed to lobbying groups or magazines to prevent her from making a living. Yes, let Khalek make her living writing articles justifying the killing of White Helmets because they are “linked to al-Qaeda”. If Khalek needs to get paid to write such garbage, why should we stand in the way? It is only her own reputation she is destroying. Eventually the jobs will dry up anyhow because writing the kind of crap that she, Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal write will eventually mark them as hacks. The dirty little secret, after all, is that all these people are writing the same talking points that get passed around like a sexually transmitted disease.
If you want to know where the “smart” people are going, just reflect on Jacobin breaking ties with the Assadist left, as reflected by the signatures on the statement of a couple of people who used to write this kind of crap for them: Greg Shupak and David Mizner. It took far too long for Jacobin to reverse itself but better late than never.
The best approach is to point out how bad she is politically, the latest example taking the word of academic counter-terrorism “expert” Max Abrahms in a Salon article, whose poll revealed that Syrian refugees blame the rebels just as much as Assad. Max Abrahms is a hard-core Islamophobe who has been writing articles for the past 6 years making an amalgam between jihadists and everybody else who took up guns against the filthy murderer Bashar al-Assad.
You might want to look at Joel Beinin’s article “US: the pro-Sharon thinktank” from the July 2003 Le Monde diplomatique where he identifies Abrahms as a specialist in Israeli security affairs and a columnist for the National Review Online.
I invite you to check out Abrahms’s articles at National Review. Why a “pro-Palestinian” like Khalek would take Abrahms at his word is beyond me. Check out this article by Abrahms on the National Review website and see for yourself. Is this the sort of person we should trust for an objective survey on Syria?:
How does one explain this marked improvement in Israeli security? The “cycle of violence” theory would posit that such a reduction in terror derives from Israeli softness. Again, this logic was proven false. To staunch the bleeding from Israel’s July 2000 openhandedness, the Israel Defense Forces used an iron fist. Operation Defensive Shield, initiated in March 2002, brought the fight to the terrorists by deploying massive numbers of troops to the West Bank. This was language terrorists could understand. Evidently, it worked.
The only other thing worth mentioning is the utterly preposterous claim made in the statement: “The signers of this statement hold a range of views on Syria. Some agree with Khalek; others disagree – in some cases quite vehemently.”
What a joke. I don’t recognize a single name of anybody who is now a critic of Assad. Maybe sitting around a dining table, they might say things like “Assad is sooo icky” but not a single one has ever made a public statement to that effect.
Yes, Bassam Haddad signed the statement but he gave up supporting the rebels 5 years ago. Everybody else shares Khalek’s “analysis”, such as it is, including hard-core Assadists like Rick Sterling, Paul Larudee and Joe Emersberger.