Author Archives: Max Ajl

About Max Ajl

Max is a writer and activist. Follow him on Twitter: @maxajl.

What Comes Next: Struggle, or solutions?

The debate about one state or two states masks something basic: the diplomatic dance around the two-state solution has been one long performance, a means to manage the zero-sum conflict between Israeli settler-capitalism and the Palestinian right to self-determination. The talk around a solution is Western circles is irrelevant, if not actively damaging. For it presumes, and thereby reinforces, the myth that either are on the table. They are not. What is on the table for the foreseeable future, especially in the absence of massive revolt in the region and especially amongst Palestinians, is sustained occupation, settlement expansion, and further Bantustanization.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, One state/Two states | 12 Comments

Who’s afraid of the Qassams?

One of the more remarkable yet less remarked upon moments of the recent Israeli massacre in Gaza came when the Qassam Brigades gave a press conference on 17 November. They had a message for the Israeli public: “It was your leadership,” they said, “that dragged you into this and into the shelters to score cheap political points.” What’s truly stunning is that the Qassam Brigades were making an open anti-government appeal to the people of Israel.

Posted in Gaza, Middle East | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Finkelstein’s critique misreads the special relationship and misunderstands political mobilization

Norman Finkelstein’s critique of the BDS movement misreads the intersection of shifting American and European opinion and the needs of American and Israeli power, while also misunderstanding the nature of political mobilization.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, One state/Two states, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Comments Off

‘Fail Again and Fail Better’: Matan Kaminer on J14 Protests in Israel

Max Ajl interviews Matan Kaminer on the state of the left in Israeli society after the controversial J14 social justice protests.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Occupation, One state/Two states | Tagged | 8 Comments

One State, Two States: Who is the subject of Palestinian liberation?


The questions — regarding vision, strategy, and analysis — produce sharp cleavages on the Left. Indeed, generally ones much deeper than they need to be. And they remain stubbornly unsettled.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Occupation, One state/Two states | Tagged | 12 Comments

The ‘special relationship’ and the arms race

The Obama administration just sealed a $29.4 billion deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Boeing F-15s. A region-wide arms race in the Middle East is being paid for by American taxpayers and consumers for the benefit of US arms companies.

Posted in Egypt, Iran, Israel Lobby, Middle East, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | Comments Off

Egypt, Syria, and the dynamics of counter-revolution

The US & Israel are attempting to shatter the Middle East into a jagged mosaic of statelets to control the outcome of the Arab Spring.

Posted in Arab Spring, Egypt, Israeli Government, Middle East, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 38 Comments

Israel, GCC and the US — An alliance of convenience

This recent article talks about the “alliances of convenience” in the Middle East between the Gulf Arab states and Israel. All alliances are “alliances of convenience,” but what the author of the article does not understand is that the Gulf … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 5 Comments

Israeli ‘retaliation’

So what has been happening over the past few days? Some Arabs – almost certainly not from Gaza – attacked Israel, killing a number of soldiers and possibly a number of civilians. Israeli censorship has been in full force, muffling … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 60 Comments

Open letter to the German left on BDS, from Palestinian and Israeli Activists

A little over a month ago, the Die Linke – the Left – delegates in the German Bundestag adopted a resolution stating that they would not take part in any Middle East peace initiatives calling for a “one-state solution” nor … Continue reading

Posted in BDS | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Notes on the Egyptian Uprising

The ripples from the January 25 insurrection continue to rock Egyptian society. On July 8, hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in squares across the country on the Friday of Determination. As Al-Ahram reports, “retribution against ‘the killers of the … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Why is Greece blockading Gaza?

A lot of people have picked up on this Haaretz story about Bibi Netanyahu becoming “Greece’s lobbyist to the European Union,” in the words of an Israeli diplomat. What was he lobbying for? According to Haaretz, “Netanyahu recently decided to … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Ethnic dry cleaning

Jerry Haber, in a mostly sensible comment on Peter Beinart, writes that Tony Kushner was, in my view, imprecise when he referred to the “ethnic cleansing”  conducted by the Zionists at Israel’s founding. The phrase conjures up mass murder and … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 19 Comments

How the ‘temporary weave’ of Zionism is starting to fray at the edges

Max Blumenthal wrote here earlier that The suicide rate has been particularly high among Ethiopian members of the Israeli army. By 1997, six years after an airlift brought the second wave of Ethiopian immigrants to Israel, Ethiopian soldiers accounted for 10 percent of … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 131 Comments

How should the left respond to the Itamar murders?

Dimi Reider’s piece faulting the left for not condeming the murder of 5 settlers continues to generate responses. An earlier version of the following post originally appeared on Max Ajl’s blog Jewbonics: Something I frequently reflect on from my time … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 55 Comments

‘Revolutions don’t happen out of the blue’: Egyptian protests grounded in decades of struggle

Egypt is throbbing with resistance. Cairo is cloven between the forces of revolution and those of counterrevolution. Hundreds of thousands of people – on Tuesday, February 1, well over a million – have been streaming each day into Tahrir Square, … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 9 Comments

Another name is registered in Gaza

I am trying to come up with something to say about the body I saw yesterday in the morgue at Kamal Adwan hospital. That body had belonged to an old man, 65 years old, who was shot through the neck … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 15 Comments

Few Palestinians are listening to the western debate over non-violence

Posted in Israel/Palestine | Comments Off

Our western privilege is the legacy of historical violence

For the last week we’ve been running pieces responding to Matthew Taylor’s statement that the Gaza flotilla should have been committed to nonviolent resistance. We’re almost done. Max Ajl is at bat. David Bromwich has responded to my comment about … Continue reading

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine | 55 Comments

Non-violence is not a principle, it is a tactic

Max Ajl, who blogs at Jewbonics, responds to Matthew Taylor’s post urging non-violence in the wake of the flotilla raid: I thought the latest post by Matthew Taylor was out of touch. I have news for him: violence works. Violence … Continue reading

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 165 Comments