|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2013)|
|Born||Ali Hasan Abunimah
December 29, 1971
Washington, D.C., United States
Ali Hasan Abunimah (Arabic: علي حسن ابو نعمة, Levantine Arabic: [ˈʕali ˈħasan abuˈnɪʕme]) (born December 29, 1971) is a Palestinian American journalist who has been described as “the leading American proponent of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” A resident of Chicago who contributes regularly to such publications as the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, he has also served as the Vice-President on the Board of Directors of the Arab American Action Network, is a fellow at the Palestine Center, and is co-founder of Electronic Intifada. He has appeared on many television discussion programs on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and other networks, and in a number of documentaries about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including Collecting Stories from Exile: Chicago Palestinians Remember 1948 (1999).
Early life and education
Born in Washington D.C., Abunimah spent his early years in the United Kingdom and Belgium before returning to the United States to attend college. His mother is originally from the village of Lifta, now part of Israel, but became a refugee in the 1948 Palestinian exodus. His father is from the village of Battir, now in the West Bank, and is a former Jordanian diplomat who served as ambassador to the United Nations.
Abunimah obtained degrees from Princeton University and the University of Chicago. He first began to participate in activism while at Princeton. While at the University of Chicago, his work as a researcher for a community-based organization resulted in encounters with that city's Arab community, with which he became actively involved. This in turn brought him in contact with the Arab American Action Network, of which he would later serve as vice president and of which he remains a board member.
Abunimah is author of the book One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which proposes to revive the idea of one state shared by two peoples.
In response to the Gaza War he wrote an article in The Guardian headlined: "We have no words left". In the article, Abunimah commented about the end of the truce: "But what is Israel's idea of a truce? It is very simple: Palestinians have the right to remain silent while Israel starves them, kills them and continues to violently colonise their land" and "any act of resistance including the peaceful protests against the apartheid wall in the West Bank is always met by Israeli bullets and bombs. There are no rockets launched at Israel from the West Bank, and yet Israel's extrajudicial killings, land theft, settler progroms and kidnappings never stopped for a day during the truce."
Views on Israel and Palestine
In 2009, Abunimah wrote an article entitled, "Israeli Jews and the one-state solution," covering some of the same arguments as he raised in his book, One Country. Abunimah's position is that the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict has "no chance of being implemented" and has been superseded by a "de facto binational state" under Israeli control. He supports the creation of a single democratic state, based on the equality of citizens and taking into account the legitimate concerns of Israel's Jewish population.
Abunimah opposes Zionism, which he describes as "a dying project, in retreat and failing to find new recruits." He argues that Zionism's promotion of Jewish self-determination in Israel and Palestine's "intermixed population" has the effect of maintaining "a status quo in which Israeli Jews exercise power in perpetuity." Abunimah's position is that Palestinians should pursue coercive measures against Israel such as the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, while also putting forward a positive vision of a single democratic state.
In a post on his Elecronic Intifada in January 2009, headlined “Why Israel Won’t Survive,” Abunimah wrote that Israel was created by "the ethnic cleansing of Palestine’s non-Jewish majority Arab population," and "has been maintained in existence only through Western support and constant use of violence to prevent the surviving indigenous population from exercising political rights within the country, or returning from forced exile." Abunimah expressed his belief that the intention of the peace process was to normalize Israel as a Jewish state and gain Palestinian blessing for their own subjugation. He compared Israel to apartheid South Africa, saying Israel makes "South Africa’s apartheid leaders look wise, restrained and humane by comparison." In addition, he also approvingly cites comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany made by Gerald Kaufman. In 2010 he wrote on Twitter that “Supporting Zionism is not atonement for the Holocaust, but its continuation in spirit.”
Abunimah has given two theories about the strong relationship between the U.S. and Israel: first, he said Israel plays an important role in U.S. Imperialism by allowing it to control the Middle East and their resources; second, he believes “there are powerful organizations and networks that consider support for Israel very important and they influence the politics of the United States through elections and contributions to political campaigns to make candidates adopt to Israel's position.”
Gilad Shalit case
Abunimah believed that Gilad Shalit – an Israeli soldier captured in 2006 via cross-border Hamas raid into the Israeli town of Kerem Shalom, released in a prisoner exchange in 2011 – should not have been considered a captive but rather a prisoner of war (POW). As such, he does not believe that Shalit would necessarily be entitled to an ICRC visit or contact with his family – both of which Hamas routinely denied.
Abunimah said that if he were to be considered a POW, his status would fall under the guidelines set forth at the Third Geneva Convention. Under these guidelines, the right of the ICRC to visit prisoners of war is never unconditional, and the ICRC never claims an unconditional right. Abunimah noted that the such visits are subject to the measure which the detaining powers consider essential to their security – which is the justification given by Hamas for denying visitation. Allowing visits presents the risk of revealing the location of the Israeli POW would run the risk of an Israeli military attack. Hamas would not have been obligated to release any POW until the end of hostilities or until the POW is severely injured or in critical condition.
Views on Barack Obama
Abunimah wrote in 2007 that he had met Obama around half a dozen times before Obama held elective office. The events were often at Chicago-based Arab-American and Palestinian events, including a 1998 fundraiser at which Edward Saïd was the keynote speaker.
Abunimah has strongly criticized Obama's approach to Mid-East affairs, writing that the president has "entrenched" the policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and has not contributed to "even the pretense of a serious peace effort."
In May 2012, Abunimah wrote that the United States under Obama is leading a campaign "to close every door to justice for Palestinians," and that his ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice is leading "a relentless anti-Palestinian crusade at the UN." He also wrote that "the Susan Rices and William Hagues of the world are not only silent about these crimes, but fully complicit in them," referring to the Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons.
Criticism of Greta Berlin
Free Gaza Movement founder, Greta Berlin was criticized for being anti-Semitic after she posted a speech on social media blaming Jews for the Holocaust. Berlin says she sent the speech by mistake to the entire Free Gaza Movement Twitter following, having only meant it for her personal Facebook account, and apologized for doing so. She tweeted that "Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews." and linked to a speech by a conspiracy theorist that alleged Jews' responsibility for the Holocaust and their admiration of Hitler. She had previously posted a link to a 1943 Nazi propaganda film Im Wald von Katyn. Abunimah criticized her for not being forthcoming with information, saying "I have no doubt that other members of the Free Gaza Movement took Berlin’s explanation in good faith. Now is the moment for them to demand proper accountability. As members of a broad and diverse Palestine solidarity movement, our loyalty to one another can only be based on trust and honesty."
Criticism of Gilad Atzmon
In March 2012, Abunimah was an initiator of a statement by leading Palestinian activists opposing the views of Gilad Atzmon as racist and antisemitic. The signatories to the statement called for "the disavowal of Atzmon by fellow Palestinian organizers, as well as Palestine solidarity activists, and allies of the Palestinian people".   
- Zeveloff, Naomi (March 16, 2012). "Lightning Rod of the Boycott Israel Movement". The Forward.
- Ali Abunimah, ABUNIMAH: Obama's ambiguity, What it reveals about Mideast 'peace', Washington Times, November 13, 2008.
- "AFSC Profile". American Friends Service Committee.
- Foreward by Abunimah
- Abunimah, Ali (2008-12-29). "We have no words left". Comment is free (The Guardian). Archived from the original on 4 January 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
- Ali Abunmiah, "Why Israel won’t survive" Electronic Initfada, 10 November 2009, accessed 15 July 2011.
- Abunimah, Ali. "Why Israel won’t survive". The Electronic Intifada.
- "Zionism support". Twitter.
- Dutch will look into NGO funding of anti-Semitic website
- Aljamal, Yousef (17 January 2012). "CPDS: Gaza Youth Discuss Zionist Role in US Elections". The Palestine Chronicle.
- Abunimah, Ali. "Is Israel right to complain that Hamas has denied Red Cross visits to Gilad Shalit?".
- How Barack Obama learned to love Israel
- Ali Abunimah, "'Israel resembles a failed state'" [editorial], Al Jazeera English, 26 December 2009, 01:41.
- Slamming the door to justice on Palestinians
- "Free Gaza group: Zionists ran concentration camps". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 07, 2012.
- Greta Berlin’s statement is not correct
- "Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon". US Palestinian Community Network. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- Abunimah, Ali. "Palestinian writers, activists disavow racism, anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon". Electronic Intifada. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- Ceren, Omri. "Mearsheimer’s Anti-Semitism Scandal". Commentary. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- Walberg, Eric (5 - 11 April 2012). "Skinning the Palestinian cat". Al-Ahram Weekly. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- "One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" ISBN 978-0-8050-8034-6
- Electronic Intifada Official Website
- Abunimah.org Official Website
- Palestine Center
- Profile on Ali Abunimah at The Institute for Middle East Understanding
- Ali Abunimah on Opening of US-Brokered Mideast Peace Talks – video report by Democracy Now!