British Muslim news site’s op-ed praises Hamas and incites violence

Though the British Muslim news site 5 Pillars has a track record of defending hate preachers, promoting incitement and peddling wild anti-Israel conspiracy theories, they are regulated by one of the UK’s independent press regulators.  So, we’ve been reading and posting about their problematic content, and recently came across an explicit call to violence published at their site.

The op-ed (“Gaza: The war isn’t over but the Palestinian resistance is ready”) by Abdel Bari-Atwan – originally published at Rai al-Youm, where Bari-Atwan is editor-in-chief – was posted at 5 Pillars on June 21st, nearly a month after the ceasefire that ended the war between Israel and Hamas.

It begins its call to arms in the 5th and 6th paragraph, in the context of the Jerusalem Day march in Jerusalem.

Amid the tension and ongoing repression, Palestinian calls are growing on Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other resistance factions to retaliate with missiles to these provocations and acts of aggression, and specifically to resume their bombardment of Israeli settlements [sic] in response to the March of the Flags.

But the responsibility for resistance does not only lie with the resistance factions – it lies with all Arabs and Muslims.

Had [the Jewish marchers in Jerusalem] thought their behaviour would provoke a backlash from 1.5 billion Arabs and Muslims around the world, they would never have even been there.

Bari-Atwan, in the op-ed’s penultimate paragraph, then pivots to explicitly praising terrorists in Gaza:

Wars consist of battles and rounds. The heroes of the Gaza Strip will not stop resisting the occupation until they have liberated every inch of Palestinian territory. Having achieved self-sufficiency in missile production and a measure of deterrence against Israel against all the odds, they know best how and when to continue the struggle.

Let’s be clear: Bari-Atwan is calling on “all Arabs and Muslims” to assist Hamas and Islamic Jihad (recognised as terrorist groups by the British government) in their violent, antisemitic ‘resistance’ targeting Israeli civilians – violence that shouldn’t end, he avers, until all the land ‘between the river and the sea is “liberated”.  Though it is of course for others to determine the particulars of British law, advice put out by the Home Office does note that, under the Terrorism Act of 2000, “it is illegal to make statements in support of a terrorist organisation”.

Moreover, Bari-Atwan’s global call to arms against Zionism, let’s remember, was published by 5 Pillars editors on the heels of a record surge in antisemitism in the country – racist incidents fueled, in large measure, by incendiary reactions and extremist rhetoric by anti-Israel activists.

As CST argued, the rhetoric and activism that frames Israel as a unique evil in the world inevitably spills over into antisemitism.

Given Bari-Atwan’s habit of publicly expressing antisemiticviolent and conspiratorial views, it’s not at all surprising that he’d write such an op-ed.

However, given that 5 Pillars fancies itself a serious news site which adheres to “a rigorous set of journalistic standards” and is regulated by the press regulator IMPRESS, we intend to hold them accountable for praising proscribed terror groups and literally inciting billions to violence.

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