Thursday, October 18, 2012

18-Oct-12: This is not an attack on Abdel Bari Atwan

The editorial page of today's "Al-Quds Al-Araby"
Nearly two years ago, here on this blog, we posted an article we called "4-Dec-10: Should this man be accorded the respect due to an objective, professional journalist?" It opened with these words:
As newspaper editors go, Abdel Bari Atwan gets more than the average amount of prominence. Given the nature of his political views, he gets a surprisingly respectable degree of respect from such mainstream media channels as NPR, Sky News, CNN and the BBC (who call him Abdel-Bari Atwan) which have hosted him frequently and which, for reasons which can only leave us wondering, present him as an objective observer on events in this part of the world...
We then quoted a small handful of offensive, racist and/or hate-based statements attributed to Atwan over a period of some years. (There are plenty to choose from.) We ended this way:
Atwan said the March 2008 point-blank, cold-blooded shooting-massacre by a Palestinian Arab gunman of eight unarmed high school students, most of them aged 15 or 16, at Jerusalem's Mercaz HaRav yeshiva "was justified"... Atwan says the celebrations in Gaza that followed the massacre symbolized "the courage of the Palestinian nation." [Source: The Jerusalem PostDepending on where you stand, justifying a terrorist massacre is not the worst of crimes. On the other hand, given what is at stake when it comes to defeating the practitioners of terror and their supporters, is Abdel Bari Atwan the kind of person who should be given public platforms in highly prominent settings? Or is Abdel Bari Atwan simply the innocent victim of some atrocious misquoting? 
To be blunt, any intelligent observer reviewing the work product of this toxic man realizes it's not about misquoting. On his Wikipedia page, there's this revealing anecdote:
Following an October 2003 article in which Atwan claimed that the U.S. is to blame for the Arab world's hatred of it, a Yemenite journalist and columnist for the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Munir Al-Mawari, stated: "The Abd Al Bari Atwan [appearing] on CNN is completely different from the Abdel Bari Atwan on the Al Jazeera network or in his Al Quds Al Arabi daily. On CNN, Atwan speaks solemnly and with total composure, presenting rational and balanced views. This is in complete contrast with his fuming appearances on Al Jazeera and in Al Quds Al Arabi, in which he whips up the emotions of multitudes of viewers and readers." [Wikipedia's source]
Now, today, there's a report [Times of Israel] that Atwan's London-based daily paper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, one of the world's leading Arab-language dailies and a news channel that focuses on Palestinian issues (the name literally means 'Arab Jerusalem'), has run an editorial entitled “The only thing left is to send them to the gas ovens.”

The piece is unsigned, but the Twitter handle of editor-in-chief Atwan (@abdelbariatwan) appears at the bottom. He dominates the paper as its editor since 1989. Here's a taste:
‘The Israeli army, through its inhumane treatment of over two million Palestinians besieged by land, sea and air, reminds us of similar treatment by the Nazi army of Jewish inmates in the Nazi camps. The only difference is that the Israeli army hasn’t sent the Palestinians to the gas ovens, at least not yet’
Holding out Israel's defence forces as equivalent to the Nazis, and their intentions as genocidal, is not his invention. Other foaming-at-the-mouth polemicists and unadorned antisemites do it a lot and have done for years. And as our title suggests, we're not attacking Atwan here. The man is what he is.

What we are taking this opportunity to criticize, this time with the disgusting Nazi analogy of today's Atwan editorial in mind, is the way in which this unpleasant individual with his noxious views continues to be given public platforms in respectable places.

We think this can only be because the people in those places (a) don't know what he writes in Arabic, (b) don't care or (c) share Atwan's self-opinion (on his website) that this is actually a function of his "lively and passionate debating style".

Examples of the respectable places that give Abdel Bari Atwan a platform? His website lists some of them here: BBC News (as recently as two weeks ago); Al Jazeerah; BBC Dateline; BBC News Review; RT ("Russia Today"); Chatham House London. His website describes him as "a regular contributor to a number of UK, US, Middle Eastern and Turkish publications including 'The Guardian', 'The Scottish Herald', 'Gulf News' and 'Star Gazet'". 

These are the people who need to be criticized. We don't say Atwan should be shut up or shut out. Many of us live in free societies, and obnoxious views like his are part of the price. What we do say is that presenting him as a sober and objective stakeholder in the robust public marketplace of ideas is irresponsible, dishonest and disingenuous. His viewpoints on terrorism alone should have been enough to remove him from mainstream broadcast media years ago. The fact that he keeps on popping up suggests a serious degree of systemic prejudice at work inside Bush House and other such places of huge global influence.


Dan Kelso said...

A few months ago when the 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed by Arabs, Bari Atwan said the attack in Sinai that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers, that the Israeli Mossad was involved in the attack.
This ofcourse was proven to be a lie.
Here’s the link to the article.

Can anyone tell me why this Pallywood liar is allowed on the BBC to spout his lies?

Dan Kelso said...

If anyone wants genocide, its the Palestinians?,7340,L-4119676,00.html
World forgot Israel’s 9/11
Op-ed: Italian journalist says world should be ashamed for forgetting Israeli terror victims
Giulio Meotti Published: 09.08.11
Female Palestinian terrorist does not regret murder of 15 civilians at Sbarro pizza shop that she planned.
Oct 23, 2011
Ahlam Tamimi was happy to learn that 8 Israeli children were murdered at the Sbarros terrorist attack in 2001 instead of the 3 children she thought originally.
Read her interview. Again i ask Josef Avesar, do the Palestinians have a conscience?
PA Religious Official Publicly Calls for Genocide of Jews
PA’s principal religious leader presents the killing of Jews by Muslims as a religious Islamic goal.
Elad Benari
Hamas celebrates 10th anniversary of Netanya Passover massacre
March 27, 2012
Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall seeing any Arabs protesting against this attack, or writing anguished op-eds about how a fellow Muslim could have done such a thing. No Arab groups popped up on college campuses calling for solidarity with Jews against terror. There were no UN resolutions condemning the massacre.
But there was a PA-sponsored soccer tournament in Tulkarem named after the suicide bomber.
73% of Palestinians Believe Jews Should Be Killed Wherever They Hide
Jim Hoft
July 16, 2011,
Abbas honors terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, killer of 37
This week Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas once again honored the memory of the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi – this time by sponsoring a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of her birth. Mughrabi led the worst terror attack in Israel’s history in 1978, when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians. Present at the ceremony were Palestinian dignitaries and a children’s marching band. Earlier this year, Abbas sponsored a computer center named after Mughrabi.
The PA further glorified Mughrabi on the date of her birth when the Governor of Ramallah announced the naming of the “Dalal Mughrabi Square”.

Dan Kelso said...

When will the Europeans understand the evil Israel is dealing with.
Abbas honors mastermind of Munich Olympics massacre
Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
July 6, 2010
PA TV honors Sbarro pizza shop terrorists
Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Sept. 4, 2011
PA TV host sends “best wishes” to “our glorious” prisoner who transported suicide bomber to attack that killed 15, including 7 children.
These are the sadists that the left supports.
PA continues to teach denial of Israel's existence
Oct 5, 2010
Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Last week, PA TV rebroadcast an educational documentary that has been broadcast numerous times since 2007. The documentary describes the Israeli cities of Haifa, Acre, Ashkelon, Jaffa and the Sea of Galilee as Palestinian.
PA Historian & Official Deny Israel's History in Land of Israel
An Arab PA historian and a senior PLO official have denied that the Jewish nation has any historical connection to the Land of Israel.
Yoni Kempinski
PA TV: Western Wall area to be turned into Arab housing neighborhood.
Palestinian Authority TV:
Western Wall area to be turned into Arab housing neighborhood -Jewish presence in Jerusalem will be erased from history.
Aug. 17, 2011
Hamas MP: A Palestinian Who Kills One Jew Will Be Rewarded As If He Killed 30 Million
Hamas Cleric Calls for Extermination of Jews
Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
April 19, 2009
Karni Eldad/
The PA is poisoning its children against Israel
April 01, 2012
Hamas celebrates anniversary of Haifa restaurant bombing
Hamas newspaper Palestine Times has a featured article celebrating the ten year anniversary of the bombing of the Arab-owned Matza restaurant in Haifa, that killed 16 Israeli civilians. The article includes photos of the bomber as well as of the devastation to the restaurant, whose roof collapsed from the force of the explosion.

Dan Kelso said...

Israel must defeat these Islamo Nazis.
Following the murderous terrorist attack on Kibbutz Metzer in 2002, the PLO cold-bloodedly stated on its official website, "We will continue to strike in any place, targeting their children as well." Five innocent Israelis, including a mother and her two little boys, were butchered in that attack, all of them, Fatah said, "Zionist colonizers" killed in a "qualitative operation in the settlement of Metzer."

Here's how the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat al-Jadida headlined its coverage: "Five Israelis killed in an attack on the settlement Metzer." The report continued, "A Palestinian infiltrated the settlement Metzer and opened fire on the settlers." It is not well known that the Palestinian press frequently refers to towns in Israel, such as Holon and Kiryat Shmona, as "settlements." Besides implying that all of Israel is an illegitimate colonial outpost, such references clearly are brought to justify the killings and distinguish them from terrorism.
After the Tel Aviv massacre on January 12th 2003, where 2 Palestinian homicide bombers massacred 23 Israeli civilians. The PLO web site posted a statement -- celebrating the attacks:
"With faith in the calling of holy jihad," it said, "two suicide attackers . . . succeeded this evening to infiltrate the Zionist roadblocks and to enter the heart of . . . Tel Aviv and carried out two consecutive suicide attacks... These suicide attacks caused a large number of fatalities and casualties in the center of the Zionist occupation of our land. We swear before our people that additional suicide operations will occur."
That is a view with which much of Arab opinion concurs., for example, datelined its story on the Tel Aviv attack "Palestine-Israel," and reported that the bombings had killed "23 Israeli settlers."

Dan Kelso said...

Does Thomas Friedman not understand the Psychos Israel is dealing with?
One day after the Ramallah lynching of two Israelis, Ahmad Abu Halabiya, a member of the PA-appointed Fatwa Council, called on listeners to find and butcher Jews “no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them.”
Manly Palestinian Arab hero who murdered little old Jewish ladies at Passover massacre.
Fogel Baby-Stabber ‘Proud of What I Did’
Hakim Awad and Amjad Awad happy about Fogel massacre.
Hamas Foreign Minister “Zahar:”After we defeat the Zionists we will persecute them… we will persecute them to eternity”
May 14, 08
Sheikh Muhammed Siyam, a Hamas military leader.
“I’ve been told to restrict or restrain what I say. . . . I hope no one is recording me or taking any pictures, as none are allowed . . . because I’m going to speak the truth to you,” Siyam reportedly said at the conference. “It’s simple. Finish off the Israelis. Kill them all! Exterminate them! No peace ever! Do not bother to talk politics.”
Full destruction of Israel is “the only red line” 8/25/11
A cartoon in the official PA daily newspaper Al Hayat al Jadida:
As PMW writes:
The Palestinian Authority is telling its people that peace with Israel is not a goal. Instead, the PA says that all of Israel is “Palestine,” and that no compromise is acceptable because this principle is “the only red line.” This message was expressed by the regular cartoonist, Muhammad Sabaaneh, in the official PA daily.
Nothing gets printed in Al Hayat al Jadida if it is not approved by the PLO and its subsidiary the Palestinian Authority. And the PLO logo has a very similar map:
One week after the Dolphinarium bombing on June 1, 2001 in Tel Aviv in which 21 people, mainly young girls, were killed, PA television carried the sermon of Sheik Ibrahim Al-Madhi. He said: “Blessings to whoever waged Jihad for the sake of Allah; blessings to whoever raided for the sake of Allah; blessings to whoever put a belt of explosives on his body or on his sons’ and plunged into the midst of the Jews, crying ‘Allahu Akbar…’
Ahmed Qurei says Israel has no history in Jerusalem. Jewish Temples never existed, and Israel has been working to “invent” a Jewish connection to Jerusalem
Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi, a Palestinian Authority religious leader: “We will blow them up in Hadera, we will blow them up in Tel-Aviv”
“We will blow them up in Hadera, we will blow them up in Tel-Aviv and in Netanya… We will fight against them and rule over them until the Jew will hide behind the trees and stones and the tree and stone will say: ‘Moslem! Servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, kill him’. We will enter Jerusalem as conquerors, and Jaffa as conquerors, and Haifa as conquerors and Ashkelon as conquerors….”
[Preacher Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi, PATV, 3 August 2001