Rania Khalek (born 1986) is a Lebanese American journalist and political activist. She has written for politically progressive/left wing publications, including The Nation, The Intercept, Al Jazeera, Salon, Vice, AlterNet, Mondoweiss, and Truthout. In 2017 she co-hosted the podcast show Unauthorized Disclosure with Kevin Gosztola at Shadowproof. Khalek previously served as an associate editor for the pro-Palestinian news website The Electronic Intifada.
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.
She contributed to AlterNet from 2011 to 2017. Some of her work was published as part of The Grayzone Project.
She launched the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure," with Gosztola in 2014.
She has appeared on Al Jazeera English and RT America, and in 2017, she briefly was part of Redfish. Khalek has also appeared on The Majority Report with Sam Seder and The Jimmy Dore Show
Khalek became a contributor for Maffick Media's "In the Now" video channels. Maffick receives funding from its parent company, Ruptly, in Berlin. 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.
At Khalek's personal website, "Dispatches From the Underclass," Khalek posts about her current work. It features links to her freelance journalism from as early as 2012.
Khalek called Wahhabism a "toxic and hateful religion practiced in Saudi Arabia". She has criticized U.S.-Saudi Arabia alliance and U.S. involvement in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.
During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Khalek wrote that Donald Trump "is hardly the candidate of peace. Nor is he a credible messenger. He’s advocated for killing the families of terrorists, endorses torture, and in his tirade against Clinton, he applauded Saddam Hussein for executing people without trial...Trump did not oppose the invasion [of Iraq] at the time”. She has also criticized Hillary Clinton and her support for the Iraq War and NATO-led military intervention in Libya, and Clinton's support of dictatorships that rule the Persian Gulf monarchies.
In 2016 Khalek and other pro-Palestinian activists disrupted 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.
The Jerusalem Post called Khalek "controversial" after 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.
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." With several other left-wing journalists, Khalek was mentioned in an article the Southern Poverty Law Center retracted after receiving complaints from those journalists 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 Center's letter explaining its retraction of the article specifically apologized to Khalek and other journalists who felt they had been falsely portrayed.
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. 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." The critic of Israel policy Eric Alterman took issue with Khalek's statement, accusing her of antisemitic implication, "have you noticed what the magazine’s real problem is? Too many Jews!" In contrast CounterPunch has praised Khalek for her "honest reporting on Israel and the military"
Khalek wrote that al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria played a significant role in the armed rebellion against the Assad regime and "while many Syrians who first engaged in peaceful protest later turned to arms in the face of the regime's crackdown, others continue to do non-violent political work." The Israeli newspaper Haaretz accused Khalek of "publishing smear attacks against NGOs, medics, journalists, first responders and Syrian civil society groups" opposing the Assad regime during the Syrian Civil War.
- Hand, Mark (February 9, 2015). "What Israel Does to Palestinians Doesn't Stay in Palestine (profile of Khalek)". CounterPunch. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Frantzman, Seth (January 26, 2019). "Rep. Omar slammed for supporting Venezuela's brutal regime". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "Unauthorized Disclosure". Shadowproof. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
- "Rania Khalek". The Intercept. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
- "An unworthy war? US/UK reporting on Yemen". al-Jazeera. June 23, 2018.
- "Syria's nonviolent resistance is dying to be heard". Al-Jazeera. September 9, 2013.
- "Grayzone Project". AlterNet.org. AlterNet. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- "Truthout Author Page". Truthout.org. Truthout. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- "Extra!". FAIR.org. FAIR. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- "Unauthorized Disclosure". Libsyn.com. Unauthorized Disclosure. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- "Russia is backing a viral video company aimed at American millennials". Shadowproof. February 27, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- "Shadowproof". Shadowproof.com. Shadowproof. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- "Dispatches From Underclass". RaniaKhalek.com. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- Khalek, Rania (April 18, 2018). "Saudi Arabia's superficial reforms won't mask ugliness of Wahhabism". RT.
- "Donald Trump Calls Hillary Clinton "Trigger Happy" as She Courts Neocons". The Intercept. May 12, 2016.
- Amouyal, Noa (June 9, 2016). "WATCH: PRO-PALESTINIAN ACTIVISTS STORM FORMER IDF OFFICER'S SPEECH AT DC MUSEUM". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on June 8, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
- 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.
- Flood, Brian. "Southern Poverty Law Center apologizes after painting journalists as fascists in retracted article". Foxnews. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- "Explanation and apology: The multipolar spin: how fascists operationalize left-wing resentment". Southern Poverty Law Center. March 14, 2018.
- "An Anti-Israel Activist in Syria". commentarymagazine. commentarymagazine. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- 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.
- "As Trump Shores Up Assad's Genocidal Regime, America's Hard Left Is Cheering Him on". Haaretz. July 20, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2019.