On the resignation of Rania Khalek from Electronic Intifada

The resignation of Rania Khalek as an editor at Electronic Intifada is not disappointing. Her comments on the war in Syria were inflammatory, including indicting civilians being bombed in Aleppo as “jihadists” & claiming they used their children as human shields.

The last straw was certainly that she agreed to speak at a conference in Damascus organized by Assadists, most prominently the father-in-law of Bashar al-Assad.

The campaign against her, however, was not an attempt to win her over with political polemics but a vituperative bullying campaign by those who support US intervention against Assad. On the question of a US-imposed No Fly Zone, she was not wrong.

Her influence in Palestinian solidarity was becoming destructive but regrettably many in the solidarity movement share her political perspectives about Syria. It’s difficult for people to be collegial in a debate that involves life & death questions like the bombing of civilians or the torture & murder of political dissidents; like the deaths of 400,000 people & 4-million driven into exile. We are going to have to hone our polemical skills more finely than our vituperations if we hope to win the errant, many of whom are confused, back to a consistent antiwar solidarity.