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Rania Khalek

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Rania Khalek
Rania Khalek, The Big Picture, May 2012.png
Khalek on RT's The Big Picture, 2012
Born (1986-05-27) May 27, 1986 (age 34)[1]
OccupationWriter, journalist

Rania Khalek (born May 27, 1986) is a Lebanese American writer and political activist.[2][3] She has written for politically progressive/left wing publications, including The Nation, The Intercept, Al Jazeera, Salon, Vice, AlterNet, Mondoweiss, and Truthout.[4] In 2017 she co-hosted the podcast show Unauthorized Disclosure with Kevin Gosztola at Shadowproof.[5] Khalek previously served as an associate editor for the pro-Palestinian website The Electronic Intifada.[6]


Khalek has reported on the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Islamophobia, the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, the Syrian Civil War, United States foreign policy in the Middle East, US presidential elections and the United States criminal justice system.[6][7][8]

She was a contributor to AlterNet from 2011 to 2017.[9] Khalek contributed to Truthout between 2012 and 2014.[10] She was a columnist for Extra!, the magazine of Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), from 2013-2015.[11] She launched the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure," with Gosztola in 2014.[12]

Khalek was a contributor to The Electronic Intifada from 2013-2016.[11] She served on the editorial board for a few years but stepped down from her position in October 2016.

Khalek became a contributor for Maffick Media's "In the Now" video channels.[13] Maffick receives funding from its parent company, Ruptly, a subsidiary of the television network RT. RT is a subsidiary of ANO TV Navasti in Moscow, which is the umbrella non-profit media organization that is funded by the Russian government.[14]

She has appeared on Al Jazeera English, The Majority Report with Sam Seder[15], The Jimmy Dore Show, and RT America. She was a correspondent for grassroots media project Redfish, whose staff were primarily involved in Russian state media and whose main broadcast outlet was RT.[16][17][18]

Viewpoints and reception


In an address at Berkeley in 2015, Khalek said Israel was responsible for exporting military technology intended for repressing minorities having tested it in Gaza. She compared Israel to ISIS asserting they "have shared values."[19]

In 2016 Khalek and other activists protested a speech at Washington, D.C.'s Newseum given by Avital Leibovich, a retired colonel in the Israel Defense Forces and director of the Jerusalem office of the American Jewish Committee, declaring, "free Palestine". [20]

According to Jonathan Marks, a professor of political science at Ursinus College, Khalek is "not a marginal figure" within the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel movement.[21]

Khalek has criticized The Nation magazine on the grounds that while the magazine has published numerous articles in support of the Palestinian cause, it nonetheless "reinforces" the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories and Israel's treatment of Palestinians "by privileging Jewish voices over Palestinian ones." Eric Alterman took issue with Khalek's statement on his blog for The Nation, accusing her of antisemitic implication, "have you noticed what the magazine’s real problem is? Too many Jews!" In response to Alterman's comment, The Nation's editors pointed out that Khalek had not said too many Jews write for The Nation but rather that "The Nation has published more Jewish than Palestinian voices".[22] In contrast, in an article for CounterPunch, Mark Hand praised Khalek for her "honest reporting on Israel and the military".[2]


Khalek wrote of Syria,"Much of the debate over U.S. intervention in Syria boils down the conflict there to a clash between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and an armed rebellion in which al-Qaeda affiliates play a significant role. Typically ignored in that conversation are the voices of the non-violent opposition movement that took to the streets to challenge Assad in March 2011, and which has persisted against great odds."[8] In September 2019, Khalek formed part of a US delegation, along with Ajamu Baraka and Max Blumenthal among others, in a visit to Syria at a time when entering to the country was virtually impermissible for other Americans.[23][24] She was reported by Bellingcat in 2019 to have received financial assistance from a pro-Assad lobby group.[23][25] Khalek has rejected this assertion.

United States

During the 2016 presidential election campaign, after Khalek wrote that "Clinton is also dangerous to world stability. And unlike Trump, she has the blood on her hands to prove it," James Kirchick described Khalek as one of a group of progressives who, in Kirchick's opinion, were "behaving like Weimar-era German communists, who, on Joseph Stalin’s orders, attacked Social Democrats as “social fascists” rather than battle Nazi brown-shirts."[26]

She trended on Twitter in 2019 when Ilhan Omar, a member of Congress, retweeted Khalek, who in turn defended Omar for her opposition to perceived U.S. efforts to change the government of Venezuela, a position which was commented as "controversial" by The Jerusalem Post.[3] “This is the best and most detailed statement I’ve seen so far from a Democrat on Venezuela,” Khalek wrote on Friday. “Omar, as well as her other colleagues who spoke out, should be commended for opposing Trump’s coup attempt, this will surely provoke malicious attacks from the pro-war crowd. Very brave.”[3]

Other issues

On 9 March 2018, the Southern Poverty Law Center published an article called "The multipolar spin: how fascists operationalize left-wing resentment", in which Khalek and several other left-wing journalists were mentioned. After complaints that the article falsely portrayed them as "white supremacists, fascists, anti-Semites, and engaging in a conspiracy with the Putin regime to promote such views", the SPLC retracted the article and issued an apology.[27][28]


  1. ^ Rania Khalek [@raniakhalek] (May 27, 2014). "Thanks everyone for all the lovely birthday wishes :)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b Hand, Mark (February 9, 2015). "What Israel Does to Palestinians Doesn't Stay in Palestine". Counterpunch. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Frantzman, Seth (January 26, 2019). "Rep. Omar slammed for supporting Venezuela's brutal regime". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "Articles by Rania Khalek". muckrack.com. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  5. ^ "Unauthorized Disclosure". Shadowproof. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Rania Khalek". The Intercept. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  7. ^ "An unworthy war? US/UK reporting on Yemen". al-Jazeera. June 23, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Khalek, Rania (September 9, 2013). "Syria's nonviolent resistance is dying to be heard". Al-Jazeera. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  9. ^ "Grayzone Project". AlterNet.org. AlterNet. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  10. ^ "Truthout Author Page". Truthout. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Extra!". FAIR. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  12. ^ "Unauthorized Disclosure". Libsyn. Unauthorized Disclosure. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  13. ^ "Russia is backing a viral video company aimed at American millennials". Shadowproof. February 27, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  14. ^ "Shadowproof". Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  15. ^ "The Majority Report with Sam Seder : 1315 - Rania Khalek: A Left Critique of Identity Politcs". majorityfm.libsyn.com.
  16. ^ Davis, Charles (February 1, 2018). "'Grassroots' Media Startup Redfish Is Supported by the Kremlin". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  17. ^ "When Will Putin Pay Rania What She's Owed?". Libsyn.com. Unauthorized Disclosure. February 11, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  18. ^ "Pro-Assad Lobby Group Rewards Bloggers On Both The Left And The Right". bellingcat. September 30, 2019. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  19. ^ "Anti-Israel Activity on Campus, 2014-2015: Trends and Projections". Anti-Defamation League. November 18, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2010.
  20. ^ Amouyal, Noa (June 9, 2016). "Watch: Pro-Palestinian Activists Storm Former IDF Officer's Speech at DC Museum". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on June 8, 2016.
  21. ^ Marks, Jonathan (November 1, 2016). "An Anti-Israel Activist in Syria". Commentary. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  22. ^ Davis, Charles (January 15, 2014). "On Israel, diversity and media: Eric Alterman addresses his recent disputes "If they had said the Nation has too many black people writing about civil rights, wouldn't people object?"". Salon. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  23. ^ a b Davis, Charles (September 30, 2019). "Pro-Assad Lobby Group Rewards Bloggers On Both The Left And The Right". bellingcat. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  24. ^ Ahmad, Muhammad Idrees (September 15, 2019). "Junket journalism in the shadow of genocide". Al Jazeera. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  25. ^ Mujanović, Jasmin (October 11, 2019). "The West Owns Syria's Disaster". Foreign Policy. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  26. ^ Kirchick, James (August 15, 2016). "Beware the Hillary Clinton-Loathing, Donald Trump-Loving Useful Idiots of the Left". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  27. ^ Ross, Alexander Reid (March 14, 2018). "The multipolar spin: how fascists operationalize left-wing resentment". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018.
  28. ^ Ansari, Talal (March 12, 2018). "The Southern Poverty Law Center Took Down An Article Trying To Connect 'Left-Wing' People And 'Fascists' After Getting Complaints". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved October 31, 2020.

External links