As'ad AbuKhalil

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As'ad AbuKhalil
أسعد أبو خليل
Born (1960-03-16) 16 March 1960 (age 63)
NationalityLebanese American
Other namesThe Angry Arab
  • Professor
  • Writer
  • Author
Years active1990s–present

As'ad AbuKhalil (Arabic: أسعد أبو خليل) (born 16 March 1960) is a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus.

AbuKhalil is the author of Historical Dictionary of Lebanon (1998), Bin Laden, Islam & America's New "War on Terrorism" (2002), and The Battle for Saudi Arabia (2004).


AbuKhalil is a professor at California State University, Stanislaus, and was briefly a visiting professor at UC Berkeley.[1][2]

Political views

AbuKhalil describes himself as "a former Marxist–Leninist who is now an anarchist".[3]

He is an opponent of the Iraq War. He is sharply critical of United States foreign policy, and denounces the corruption of Fatah and the "vulgar anti-Jewish references” made by Hamas, but sees "Israeli terrorism" as a far greater problem in scale and magnitude.[3] He also criticises Iran, Saudi Arabia, and all rival factions in Lebanon including the Shia Hezbollah.[citation needed]


He opposes the state of Israel, stating that "Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel".[4] Some opponents to BDS, among them Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, have cited a part from AbuKhalil's article published in Al Akhbar where he wrote: "Finkelstein rightly asks whether the real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel. Here, I agree with him that it is. That should be stated as an unambiguous goal. There should not be any equivocation on the subject" in their campaigns against the movement. In response, Abu Khalil wrote on his personal blog that it represented his personal position of what the goals of BDS should be, and that it was being purposefully distorted to stigmatize the movement.[5][6][7]

He criticizes the influence of the Israel lobby in the United States. In a televised debate which aired on Al Jazeera on February 23, 2010 (as translated by MEMRI), AbuKhalil stated that US President Barack Obama "has given free rein to the Zionist lobby to do whatever it likes, both in terms of foreign policy and domestic policy." AbuKhalil also stated that "The Zionists want to muzzle us, so that we won't oppose the wars, violence, or hatred of Israel." In the same interview, Abukhalil sharply criticized MEMRI, stating that it is "a rude, propaganda-spreading organization ... which was established by a former Israeli intelligence official" (alluding to MEMRI founder, Yigal Carmon).[8]

AbuKhalil was criticized in 2020 for tweeting in prediction that Israel would put non-Jewish patients infected with COVID-19 in "mass prisons".[9]


In an interview on New TV on January 13, 2010, AbuKhalil stated that "Lebanese nationalism – just like Zionism – was founded on racism and contempt for others – whether for Lebanese of other sects or for other Arabs. ... The Lebanese people, with all its sects, has never proven that it wants, or is capable of, true coexistence. Coexistence in Lebanon is coexistence in blood, conflict, and civil strife."[10]

News media

In an interview which aired on Al Jazeera on October 25, 2011 (as translated by MEMRI), AbuKhalil accused the network of bias and accuses it of giving preferential treatment of "American Propaganda Officials."[11]

The Angry Arab News Service

As'ad AbuKhalil addressing students in the University of Manchester

AbuKhalil's blog, the Angry Arab News Service, was launched in September 2003. The name of the blog is taken from a phrase used by a TV producer to describe AbuKhalil's perspective.[2]

According to the Los Angeles Times, the blog is "known for its sarcastic but knowledgeable commentary", and "stands out for its sense of humor in the dour left-wing landscape."[2] Ken Silverstein writes that the blog often becomes "a furious stream of consciousness that lacks paragraph breaks or other typographic niceties" (though AbuKhalil is nevertheless "a terrific writer and an insightful political analyst").[3]

Commenting on his own coverage of the Syrian Civil War, journalist Glenn Greenwald said "I've often cited As'ad AbuKhalil as a great source on all matters Middle East and – without adopting all or even most of what he has said – he covers Syria almost every day and does it very well."[12]


  • Historical Dictionary of Lebanon (1998), ISBN 978-0-8108-3395-1
  • Bin Laden, Islam & America's New "War on Terrorism" (2002), ISBN 978-1-58322-492-2
  • The Battle For Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power (2004), ISBN 978-1-58322-610-0



  1. ^ CMES Affiliated Faculty Profile. Middle Eastern Studies. As'ad Abu Khalil, Visiting Professor Fall 2007 and Spring 2008. Berkeley University
  2. ^ a b c Robin Abcarian Between disparate worlds. Los Angeles Times (2005-06-07). Retrieved on 2011-10-17.
  3. ^ a b c "A Statue to Reason", Ken Silverstein, Harper's Magazine, 2006-07-13
  4. ^ "A Critique of Norman Finkelstein on BDS". Al Akhbar. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Roseanne and BDS and me". 22 June 2014. PS And for the umpteenth time, I never said that the real aim of BDS is to tend the existence of Israel, I said that it should be that. I wish it is the case but it is not. BDS has not officially endorsed that aim of ending Zionism in Palestine
  6. ^ "Netanyahu lies in citing something I said about BDS". 9 June 2015. I added that: "the real aim of BDS SHOULD BE (I never said "is") to bring down the state of Israel". That statement was distorted to make me say that the real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel, which isn't true, and I wish if it were true.
  7. ^ "Regarding the citation by Netanyahu of my characterization of the aims of BDS". 10 June 2015. I am making it clear that it is about how BDS should be and not about how it is now. I meant that FOR ME, BDS is about ending the Zionist occupation of Palestine completely.
  8. ^ Lebanese-American Professor As'ad Abukhalil: Incitement on Saudi Media Ignored Due to Israeli Alliance with Saudi Arabia; Khairi Abaza, of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies: The Arabs Need an Arab MEMRI, MEMRITV, Clip No. 2403, February 23, 2010.
  9. ^ "California State Professor Tweets Israel Will Place Non Jewish Coronavirus Patients in 'Mass Prisons'". StopAntisemitism. 2020-03-11. Retrieved 2023-08-14.
  10. ^ American-Lebanese Professor As'ad Abukhalil: Just Like Zionism, Lebanese Nationalism Was Founded on Racism, MEMRITV, Clip No. 2381, January 13–17, 2010.
  11. ^ California State University Political Scientist As'ad Abu Khalil Accuses Al-Jazeera TV of Bias and Conspiracies in Preferential Treatment of "American Propaganda Officials", MEMRITV, Transcript, Clip No. 3180, October 25, 2011.
  12. ^ "Glenn Greenwald's second reader Q&A: the highlights". The Guardian. 22 March 2013. As for Syria, US involvement there has been relatively minimal. But it's a very complicated case and passions and emotions are very high, so it's the kind of issue I avoid unless and until I'm able to give it the attention it deserves and feel a reason to do so. I've often cited As'ad AbuKhalil as a great source on all matters Middle East and – without adopting all or even most of what he has said – he covers Syria almost every day and does it very well.

External links