Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah is a Palestinian American journalist and co-founder of the virulently anti-Israel website Electonic Intifada. An ardent supporter of the one-state solution, Abunimah is author of the book “One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”.  While Abunimah attempts to portray his binationalist vision in universalist and egalitarian terms, the one-state solution is an unworkable solution that is mere subterfuge for the destruction of the state of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian-majority state.

 Back in 2002 after the truth of the myth of the so-called Jenin massacre emerged, Abunimah’s Electronic Intifada stirred up controversy when it claimed in a letter to the Economist that:

 “You say that “Palestinians accused Israel of massacring up to 500 civilians” in Jenin (“Naught for your comfort”, August 10th). While this charge is widely attributed to Palestinians–even in Kofi Annan’s UN report–we have been wholly unable to locate any direct quote from any Palestinian official making it in any media.”

While Abunimah took issue with the way a certain statement made by Saeb Erekat on April 10, 2002 made to CNN was reported by other news media, it is clear from the compilation of quotes in the report here that on other occasions  Palestinian officials including Saeb Erekat categorically stated that a massacre of 500 in Jenin took place.  The perniciousness of such obfuscation of the truth by the Electronic Intifada was rightly condemned by Amnon Rubinstein in an article entitled  Massacring the Truth much to the chagrin and chest beating of Abunimah. For more Abunimah falsehoods click here.

Below is a selection of Ali Abunimah’s statements “in his own words”.

“Israel is a society where virulent anti-Arab racism and Nakba denial are the norm although none of the European and American leaders who constantly lecture about Holocaust denial will dare to admonish Netanyahu for his bald lies and omissions about Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.”  Netanyahu’s “brilliant” peace plan June 17, 2009 [co-authored with Hasan Abu Nimah]

“But can Israel’s demand be justified? A useful lens to examine its claim is the fundamental legal principle that there is no right without a remedy. If Israel has a “right to exist as a Jewish state,” then what can it legitimately do if Palestinians living under its control “violate” this right by having “too many” non-Jewish babies? Can Israel expel non-Jews, fine them, strip them of citizenship or limit the number of children they can have? It is impossible to think of a “remedy” that does not do outrageous violence to universal human rights principles.”” Mr. Abbas goes to Washington May 29, 2009

“The right response to such findings is to support the growing international solidarity campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions to force Israel to abandon its illegal, supremacist and colonial practices, and to build a vision of a democratic future for all the people in the country.” One Voice: manufacturing consent for Israeli apartheid May 1, 2009

“Like Irish nationalists, Palestinians will never recognize the “right” of another group to discriminate against them. Like Protestant unionists did, Israeli Jews insist on their own state. Israel’s “solution” is to cage Palestinians into ghettos — like Gaza — and periodically bomb them into submission just so Israeli Jews, their relative numbers dwindling, can artificially maintain a Jewish state.” Can Mitchell turn Jerusalem into Belfast? February 2, 2009

“Gaza will likely be seen as the turning point when Israeli propaganda lost its power to mystify, silence and intimidate as it has for so long. Even the Nazi Holocaust, long deployed by Zionists to silence Israel’s critics, is becoming a liability; once unimaginable comparisons are now routinely heard. Jewish and Palestinian academics likened Israel’s actions in Gaza to the Nazi massacre in the Warsaw Ghetto. A Vatican cardinal referred to Gaza as a “giant concentration camp.” UK Member of Parliament Gerald Kaufman, once a staunch Zionist, told the House of Commons, “My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow, [Poland]. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.” Kaufman continued, “my grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.” He denounced the Israeli military spokesperson’s justifications as the words “of a Nazi.”” Why Israel won’t survive January 19, 2009

“That is an Israeli truce. Any response to Israeli attacks — whether peaceful protests against the apartheid wall in Bilin and Nilin in the West Bank is met with bullets and bombs. There are no rockets launched at Israel from the West Bank, and yet Israel’s attacks, killings, land theft, settler pogroms and kidnappings never ceased for one single day during the truce. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has acceded to all of Israel’s demands, even assembling “security forces” to fight the resistance on Israel’s behalf. None of that has spared a single Palestinian or her property or livelihood from Israel’s relentless violent colonization. It did not save, for instance, the al-Kurd family from seeing their home of 50 years in occupied East Jerusalem demolished on 9 November, so the land it sits on could be taken by settlers.” Gaza massacres must spur us to action December 27, 2008

“Amidst all these invocations of the Holocaust, Israel’s calculated strangulation of Gaza was barely noticed. But the constant references to the Holocaust reminded me of Eban’s powerful analogy. I confess, however, that it evoked the walls, watchtowers and barbed wire caging 1.5 million Palestinians into the Gaza Strip. Let me be clear: these “Auschwitz borders” do not literally enclose a Nazi-style death camp and Israelis are not Nazis.

Rather, these borders mark the beginning of a zone where the human beings inside have been completely dehumanized, where they can be starved and killed with impunity and even a sense of righteous justification, and most “decent” people outside who have the power to act choose instead to do nothing if they are not condoning Israel’s actions as “self-defense” by a people still haunted by Holocaust fears.”Israel’s Auschwitz borders December 8, 2008

“It is well-known that the two largest American telecom companies AT&T and Verizon collaborated with the US government to allow illegal eavesdropping on their customers. The known uses to which information obtained this way has been put include building the government’s massive secret “watch lists,” and “no-fly lists” and even, Bamford suggests, to deny Small Business Administration loans to citizens or reject their children’s applications to military colleges.

What is less well-known is that AT&T and Verizon handed “the bugging of their entire networks — carrying billions of American communications every day” to two companies founded in Israel. Verint and Narus, as they are called, are “superintrusive — conducting mass surveillance on both international and domestic communications 24/7,” and sifting traffic at “key Internet gateways” around the US.” How Israel helps eavesdrop on US citizens November 3, 2008

“The post-two-state solution era compels us to recognize the fundamental incompatibility of Zionism with universal human rights. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert knows this all too well, stating recently that the notion of Israel becoming “a state of all its citizens” — in other words a civic democracy — was gaining support among US elites. He warned that “this is a very dangerous process that endangers the continuation of our existence as a Jewish state.” It could not be more plain than that. From the mouth of Israel’s own leader: Zionism and democracy cannot mix in Palestine-Israel, just as apartheid and democracy could not in South Africa. The sooner we absorb this and begin to act on it, the shorter will be the path to peace.” Beyond the make-believe of negotiations June 4, 2008

“This struggle has already begun as more and more Palestinians, recognizing that statehood is unrealistic, debate and adopt the one-state solution, offering Israelis and Palestinians equal rights in the land they share. Last year, I was part of a group of Palestinians, Israelis and others who published the “One State Declaration.” Inspired partly by South Africa’s Freedom Charter, we set out principles for a common future in a single democratic state. Most Israelis, unsurprisingly, recoil at comparisons with apartheid South Africa. The good news for them is that the end of apartheid did not bring about the disaster many feared. Rather, it was a new dawn for all the people of the country.” Remembering 1948 and looking to the future May 13, 2008

“Anti-Arab racism and incitement are persistent and growing problems in Israel and symptoms of hyper nationalism that seeks to consolidate and justify the state’s “Jewish character.” For decades, the mistreatment of Palestinians in Israel has been virtually ignored by Palestinian national leaders, as well as by international policymakers and organizations under the doctrine of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states.” Anti-Arab racism and incitement in Israel March 30, 2008

“The much condemned use of violence by Hamas and Hizballah — particularly suicide bombings — had more in common with other nationalist movements facing foreign occupation, than deriving from any “Islamist” ideology, as University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape demonstrated in his book Dying to Win. Hizballah has focused its military strategy on countering Israeli military might, retaliating against Israeli civilian areas only in response to Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians (as we saw in the July 2006 war). Hamas unilaterally suspended its notorious campaign of suicide attacks on Israeli civilians more than two years ago, again following the pattern of other groups like the IRA that sought to enter a political process. Hamas maintains this suspension despite escalating Israeli attacks and collective punishment against Palestinian civilians.” Engaging Hamas and Hizballah October 29, 2007

“The latest Israeli government declaration comes as Palestinians this week marked the 25th anniversary of the massacres in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut, in which the Israeli occupation army and political leadership were full participants. We can reflect that Israel’s dehumanization of Palestinians and other Arabs, its near daily killing of children, destruction of communities and racist apartheid against millions of people has been so normalized that if those massacres occurred today Israel would not need to go through the elaborate exercise of denying its culpability. Indeed, the “international community” might barely notice.” Dehumanizing the Palestinians September 21, 2007

Haaretz columnist Danny Rubinstein predicts that “sooner or later Hamas will fail in its war against Israel. But that [doesn't] mean that there will then be a return to the days of Oslo and the two-state vision.” Rather, he fears, “there will be increasingly strong demands by Palestinian Arabs, who constitute almost half the inhabitants of this land, who will say: Under the present conditions we cannot establish a state of our own, and what remains for us is to demand civil rights in the country that is our homeland. They will adopt the slogans of the struggle of the Arabs who are Israeli citizens, who demand equality and the definition of Israel as a state of all its citizens.” (“Nothing to sell the Palestinians,” 16 July 2007). Thus we can see that Abbas is now Israel’s last best hope in the struggle against democracy. Such a pathetic coalition cannot stand in the way of liberation.” Overcoming the conspiracy against Palestine July 18, 2007

“AL JAZEERA: You go from reluctantly backing a two-state solution to advocating a one-state solution. When did you make the ideological shift and why?

ABUNIMAH: I always struggled with it, but I did for many years sincerely believe that a two-state solution was the best, the most possible, the most pragmatic.

I made the final shift about three or four years ago during the [second] intifada, when I recognised that all the talk of a two-state solution, all of the diplomatic initiatives, were so divorced from the reality of what Israel was doing on the ground that it became clear to me it was not possible. I learnt more, I read more about South Africa, about Ireland, about Palestine, and this is where I ended up.” Excerpt of interview by Laila El-Haddad, Al Jazeera July 3, 2007

“I do not often agree with leaders of the settler movement, but they speak a truth Israeli and American liberals prefer to ignore when they point out that the settlements in Gaza and the West Bank built after 1967 are not morally different from towns and kibbutzim inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders. The Israel that was created in 1948 was established on land violently expropriated from ethnically-cleansed Palestinians. Israel has been maintained as a “Jewish state” only by the imposition of numerous laws that maintain the inferior status of its Palestinian citizens and forcibly exclude Palestinian refugees.” It’s not just the occupation June 7, 2007

“It seems there are no moral restraints left in Israel. It is right and proper that such a regime be isolated with boycott, divestment and sanctions until it desists from its racist — and potentially genocidal — practices. It is to be celebrated that an increasing number of individuals and organizations understand this: yesterday the governing body of the UK’s University and College Union voted overwhelmingly to support a boycott of Israeli academia. Today UNISON, the UK’s largest public service union announced it will vote on similar motions at its next congress. As Israel’s house of horror grows, so does the movement to confront it. In that there is great hope.” Top Israeli rabbis advocate genocide May 31, 2007

“The reason is simple: From its inception, the Zionist movement set out to turn a country where the vast majority of people were not Jewish into a country that gives special rights and privileges to Jews at the expense of non-Jews. If Palestinian refugees were black Africans, no one would dispute an “apartheid” label that former US president Jimmy Carter has used to describe the situation.” A political marriage of necessity: A single state of Palestine-Israel May 14, 2007

“Contrasted with the official discourse is an insurgent one that remains marginalized in the academy, among activists and in the alternative media. But it is gaining strength. Like the vast majority of Palestinians, it continues to view the Palestine situation as one of anti-colonial struggle, comparable to the long fight against South African apartheid. Yet Carter’s intervention offers the potential to connect these views; if it becomes legitimate to describe Israel’s tyranny over the occupied Palestinians as “apartheid”, it may not be long before Israel’s own internal colonialism against more than one million Palestinians faces similar examination. When Israel is no longer viewed as a “wonderful democracy”, as US politicians without exception continue to label it, then the possibility for genuine peace based on the principle that Palestine-Israel belongs to all who live in it without discrimination based on religion, ethnic or national origin may open up. This is the danger that pro-Israel groups clearly perceive and are working night and day to stop.” Hard limits and long observed taboos January 12, 2007

“As the two-state illusion fades, there is an opportunity for new ideas on how to escape the bloody impasse. There are, on the one hand, the hideous prescriptions of Dr. Ravid and Mr. Sharon; on the other, the hope offered by a single binational state guaranteeing full rights and equality for Jews and Palestinians. This is the only solution that conforms to universal human rights.” Can Israel escape a binational future? December 20, 2003

“If the Geneva authors were serious about a two-state solution, they would recognize that if it still has a remote chance, that can only be if Israel were at a minimum willing to withdraw every soldier and settler, without exception, behind the lines of June 4, 1967, including in Jerusalem, and allow the Palestinians to establish a state no less independent and sovereign than Israel. As the Geneva document demonstrates, not even Israel’s most “dovish” figures are willing to contemplate that. So instead, they push a hopeless and unjust formula, claiming that this is the “only alternative” to the bloodthirsty way of Sharon, and pretend that the Palestinian people have agreed to it.

In fact, since Israel can’t or won’t allow a real two-state solution, there is an alternative — the creation of a single, democratic state that will allow all Israelis and Palestinians to peacefully cohabit the entirety of their common homeland as equals. To dismiss this possibility, and to refuse even to explore it as a serious way out of the deepening crisis is immoral.” A disastrous dead end: the Geneva Accord October 28, 2003

“The only way to rob the Israeli colonization project of its raison d’etre is not to continue to throw ourselves into the path of a superior force, or to continue to plead with the United States, but to render the motive of territorial conquest irrelevant. In one state, all people will be able to live wherever they want, provided they obtain their homes legally on the same basis as everyone else, not through force and land theft. In other words, we have to break the link between sovereignty, ethnicity and geography within Palestine.” Palestine/Israel: One state for all its citizens October 16, 2003

Below is a selection of statements made by Ali Abunimah in ‘Comment is Free’ “in his own words”:

“But Israel today is lurching into open fascism. It is utterly disingenuous to continue to pretend – as so many do – that its failed leaders hold the key to getting out of the morass. Instead of waiting for them to form a coalition, we must escalate the international civil society campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions to force Israelis to choose a saner path.” There is no peace for Israel as it lurches into fascism February 12, 2009

“Now is the time to channel our raw emotions into a long-term effort to make sure we do not wake up to “another Gaza” ever again.” No words left to describe Gaza catastrophe December 29, 2008

“It is precisely this basic insistence on equality that is perceived by Zionists as an existential threat to Israel, undermining its inherently discriminatory foundations which privilege its Jewish citizens over all others. Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert was refreshingly frank when he recently admitted that Israel was “finished” if it faced a struggle for equal rights by Palestinians.” Democracy: an existential threat? [Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti] December 30, 2007

“In Palestine-Israel, this means abrogating all laws in Israel that systematically privilege Jews and harm non-Jewish citizens, ending Israel’s military tyranny in the Occupied Territories, and allowing refugees to return home. Nothing like that will be on the agenda in Annapolis which is why the effort will fail.” The show goes on….and on October 16, 2007

“Israel’s wall is designed to maintain an artificial Israeli Jewish majority in part of Palestine/Israel in the hope that the tide of Palestinian humanity (what Israelis crudely call the “demographic threat”) can be kept out. So here’s the other elephant in the living room: while we are told that the Palestinians under occupation must “renounce violence,” what the Tony Blairs, Kofi Annans and Javier Solanas don’t want to admit is that Israel itself is maintained and exists only through the constant use of extreme violence.” Two failed states April 21, 2006