Ghent University professor Max Ajl faces criticism for praising Houthi rebels’ attack on Israel as “the greatest humanitarian intervention ever.”

Max Ajl, an associated researcher with Ghent University in Belgium, has stirred controversy by praising the Houthi rebels in Yemen during an online class. In a shocking statement, Ajl labeled their attack on Israel as “the greatest humanitarian intervention ever,” revealing a clear bias against Israel.

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Who is Max Ajl? 

Ajl, also a postdoctoral fellow with the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University, expressed a strong anti-Israel sentiment during the online class. His remarks, captured by students, have ignited a debate about the appropriateness of such statements from an academic figure.

Max Ajl (x/@mon_sovereignty)

Known for his contributions to publications like Monthly Review, Jacobin, and Viewpoint, Ajl’s controversial views extend beyond the classroom. He holds a position as an associated researcher with the Tunisian Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment, further raising questions about the alignment of his academic affiliations with his outspoken opinions.

Meanwhile, Belgium takes a significant step in combating anti-Semitism as the Council of Ministers approves the establishment of a federal mechanism. Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities, Marie-Colline Leroy, spearheads this initiative, aiming to coordinate the overall fight against anti-Semitism at the federal level.

The decision comes following Minister Leroy’s recommendation, replacing the former Vigilance Cell with a more comprehensive inter-federal coordination mechanism. The mechanism’s proposed structure and working method have been presented to various governments in Belgium, with the first full assembly scheduled for January 15, 2024.

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This move reflects Belgium’s commitment to addressing anti-Semitism systematically and ensuring a coordinated effort at the federal level. As Max Ajl’s controversial statements continue to circulate, the broader context highlights the ongoing global struggle against anti-Semitic sentiments and the measures taken by nations to counteract them.