Electronic Intifada Editor Ali Abunimah Finally Secures Visa To Speak In Australia


The Turnbull Government has finally approved a travel visa for prominent Palestinian journalist Ali Abunimah.

The approval came through a few hours ago, Abunimah reported via his Twitter account.

On Tuesday, New Matilda reported on the unexplained delay in the approval of Abunimah’s visa to travel to Australia, to deliver an address to the annual Marxism conference in Melbourne later this month.

Abunimah is the editor and one of the founders of The Electronic Intifada, a pro-Palestine news outlet with millions of readers around the world.

He was booked to fly out this Friday, but had spent almost two months trying to secure a visa. Abunimah is a US citizen – ordinarily, the process takes just a few days, and is a simple application online. However, multiple attempts to secure a visa failed.

Eventually, Abunimah was forced to submit a formal written application.

According to the Department of Immigration website, the processing of applications from US citizens considered ‘high risk’ takes one month. It remains unexplained why Abunimah – a respected journalist who frequently speaks at international events on Palestine and press freedom – would be classed in this category.

Abunimah will be just one of a number of high profile speakers at the Marxism Conference. The four day event includes legendary Aboriginal activist Gary Foley, along with Khury Petersen-Smith, a key figure in the #blacklivesmatter movement in the US.

New Matilda’s own Amy McQuire will also be speaking at the event.


Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.