Max Ajl

Challenging AIPAC and confronting "US interests"

The roster of speakers at AIPAC’s annual policy conference — from Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to Christian Right paragon Ralph Reed, President Barack Obama and several members of Congress — is clear evidence that the relationship between and interests shared by AIPAC, the religious right and the US government continue unabashed and unchallenged. 

The return of the colonial: Laor's "The Myths of Liberal Zionism" reviewed

Israeli new mandarins have to try to sell settler-colonialism to Western states with populations that increasingly regard Zionism’s spiritual core and physical reality as somewhere on the spectrum between mildly embarrassing and overtly revolting. It is those mandarins that anti-Zionist Israeli poet Yitzhak Laor meticulously vivisects in The Myths of Liberal Zionism

Film review: Pastoral resistance in "This Palestinian Life"

This Palestinian Life, a 28-minute documentary, surveys rural resistance in occupied Palestine: in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, in the Jordan Valley, and in the south Hebron hills. The film was made by Egyptian-German journalist Philip Rizk, who lived in Palestine from 2004 to 2007, talking with those struggling under the daily violence and oppression of Israel’s occupation, and recording their stories. Max Ajl reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

Book review: Avi Shlaim's "Israel and Palestine"

When prolific writers compile a decade or more of their writing in a single collection, changes in style, political outlook, or interpretive tendencies are readily apparent. Consistency in all these respects is visible too. While Avi Shlaim’s latest book — Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations reveals such changes and continuities, his analytical gaze suffers from a blind spot when it comes to the ideology upon which Israel was founded. Max Ajl reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

A glimmer of hope

While the Obama Administration proved twice recently that it intends to continue to consider Israel above the law, there is a glimmer of hope that the people of Gaza will see justice. The massacre brought about sweeping change, across the world, in perceptions of Israel. Citizen-led mobilizations in the past few months have showed that where governments have failed, ordinary citizens can, perhaps, make a difference. Ziyaad Lunat and Max Ajl comment for The Electronic Intifada. 

J Street conference only step one

Was the recently held J Street conference the herald of an incipient peace treaty in Israel-Palestine? The supporters of the new lobby group hope so. Its name is a riff on K Street, the real Washington, DC address of many powerful lobbying firms. With a staff of 30 and a budget of millions, it has set itself up as the liberal alternative to AIPAC. Max Ajl comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Academic freedom controversy brewing at University of California

A controversy is quickening at the University of California centered around William Robinson, professor of sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and a critic of globalization, capitalism and United States imperialism in Latin America. On 19 January, Robinson sent an e-mail message to the students in his Sociology of Globalization class containing some sharply critical commentary on Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip. Max Ajl reports for The Electronic Intifada.