As'ad AbuKhalil

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As'ad AbuKhalil
As'ad AbuKhalil2.JPG
As'ad AbuKhalil
Born As'ad AbuKhalil
(1960-03-16) March 16, 1960 (age 55)
Tyre, Lebanon
Residence Modesto, California, USA
Nationality Lebanese-American
Other names "Angry Arab"
Occupation Professor of political science
Employer California State University, Stanislaus

As'ad AbuKhalil (Arabic: أسعد أبو خليل) (born March 16, 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). He maintains a blog, The Angry Arab News Service.


AbuKhalil was born in Tyre, Lebanon, and grew up in Beirut. He received his B.A. and M.A. in political science from the American University of Beirut, and a Ph.D. in comparative government from Georgetown University.

AbuKhalil is a professor at California State University, Stanislaus and was briefly[1] a visiting professor at UC Berkeley.[2] In addition, he has taught at Tufts University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Colorado College, California State University Stanislaus, and Randolph-Macon Woman's College.[3]

Political views[edit]

AbuKhalil describes himself as "a former Marxist-Leninist, now an anarchist",[4] a feminist, and an "atheist secularist".

He is an opponent of the Iraq War. He is critical of United States foreign policy, of Iran, Saudi Arabia, of both Fatah and Hamas, and of all rival factions in Lebanon including the Shia Hezbollah.[4]


He is vocally pro-Palestinian, describes himself as an anti-Zionist, supports a secular Palestinian state. He is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. In 2010, he wrote that the aim of BDS should[5] be to bring down the state of Israel. Later, in an article published in Al-Akhbar, he wrote that he agrees with Norman Finkelstein that the real aim of BDS actually is this goal, stating "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" and that "Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel".[6] After this statement was used by opponents to BDS, among them Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, AbuKhalil clarified that what he wrote represented his personal position of what the goals of BDS should be.[7]

He is highly critical of the influence of the Israel lobby in the United States. In a televised debate which aired on Al-Jazeera TV 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]


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."[9]

News media[edit]

In an interview which aired on Al-Jazeera TV 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."[10]

The Angry Arab News Service[edit]

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").[4]

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."[11]



  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. ^ The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب. Retrieved on 2011-10-17.
  4. ^ a b c "A Statue to Reason", Ken Silverstein, Harper's Magazine, 2006-07-13
  5. ^ "Judith Bulter". BDS movement SHOULD be against Zionism and should be aimed at boycotting all facets of Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the 1967 marking point is--or should be--irrelevant. I mean, I can't imagine that we would be debating whether the boycott of Apartheid South Africa should be directed at one district in South Africa. It was a movement against the entire state and the entire project. We need to do the same against Zionism, in all of its forms. 
  6. ^ "A Critique of Norman Finkelstein on BDS". Al Akhbar. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Regarding the citation by Netanyahu of my characterization of the aims of BDS". 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. ^ American-Lebanese Professor As'ad Abukhalil: Just Like Zionism, Lebanese Nationalism Was Founded on Racism, MEMRITV, Clip No. 2381, January 13–17, 2010.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "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. 

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