A post by CAMERA Arabic
(All translations, emphases and in-bracket remarks by CAMERA Arabic)
Last August CAMERA UK published a catalogue of Abdel Bari Atwan’s hateful opinions titled ‘It’s time for the British media to stop normalising Abdel Bari Atwan’.
Since then the London-based editor-in-chief of the online newspaper Rai al-Youm has appeared in BBC Arabic content as an allegedly respectable commentator – including on Israeli affairs – at least three times, the most recent of which was on March 27th 2022. (h/t CST).
Those appearances and others debunk Atwan’s own claim from last November that he is “banned” from all UK television channels due to “Israeli pressure”. CAMERA UK had previously pointed out that Atwan’s claim was false and on other occasions he appeared on the French public broadcaster France24.
In the wake of the recent series of terrorist attacks in Israel, Atwan’s public support for terrorism and his dehumanisation of Israeli civilians was on display once again. Here are examples:
Following the April 7th Tel Aviv attack in which three civilians were murdered:
2:49 – Perpetrator Ra’d Hazem is referred to as a “hero” [English subtitles omit that phrasing]
3:14 – “Did you see the Israelis, how did they flee? By Allah, like mice. Horrified, don’t know where to go, because of one person, one Palestinian youth, can you imagine? This is hysteria. This is, this is the enemy. The problem of the enemy is, like I said […], thinking that all Palestinians are like the PA”
4:05 – “Look at the miracle […] his father is a security officer, he, the youth, takes a gun, goes to Tel Aviv and opens fire at settlers [subtitle reads: colonisers]. Look, we will never accept, it is impossible that we accept, that they are civilians. Civilians, no way. They are all military, police or security. Well, when Bennett, who is Israeli PM, tells the settlers ‘get your weapon out and walk around in arms, that’s it, you all are not civilians. Secondly, they are all soldiers in the Israeli military reserves. So we don’t buy the ‘civilians’ story, nor should the entire world buy it.”
4:58 – “Four operations, about 15 Israelis killed, mostly military, Israeli security forces and police [in fact, three police officers were killed in the attacks along with 11 civilians]. Even these youths, had they wanted to shoot, they could have killed great numbers, hundreds killed, by Allah”
6:05 – “One warrior liberated Tel Aviv for nine hours”
9:59 – “Jenin refugee camp, which has mothers who give birth […] women who produce perfect ones, who produce martyrs”
11:23 – “He [Hazem] committed martyrdom defending himself, his mosque, his ideology, his [Arab/Islamic] nation […]. Now there is an extraordinary awakening. People are giving out sweets everywhere, in Lebanon, Morocco, Algeria, Palestine, even our brethren in the Gulf.”
The Twitter post presenting the video also included the claim that Hazem “unified […] both nations, Arab and Islamic”.
“After Ra’d Hazem completed his operation in Tal al-Rabee [the alleged former name of Tel Aviv: no such place ever existed] he turned to a Jaffa mosque for prayer and Qur’an reading. He was a worshipping believer like all of his people, and when the soldiers of the enemy demanded his surrender he aimed his rifle towards them, seeking to meet his lord pure, in prayer, a martyr. [Pun on the Arabic word Ra’d, meaning ‘thunder’:] After the thunder [come] the storms, what is up is mightier […]”
“Ra’d Hazem, the hero of the recent Dizengoff St. operation in the heart of Tel Aviv […] Jenin camp [where Hazem is from] has become an icon of the Palestinian resistance due to its men’s resilience and their love for martyrdom. […]
“[About the 2002 Jenin battle:] Martyr Ramadan Shalah (Abu Abdallah), the late leader of the Islamic Jihad movement [PIJ is a terrorist organization according to UK government and Shalah is held responsible for the deaths many Israeli civilians], told me that he gave the fighting squad that was besieged inside camp at the time, the freedom to decide [what to do], with the response being fight to martyrdom. The sons of these [men] are reprising the same scene, with the same sacrifice, and on top of them martyr Ra’d Hazem, whose father hosted a eulogy and farewell sermon that will go down in history with its influential and brave meanings of Jihad. […]
“The four operations defeated the occupying entity because they struck the strong, rather than soft, side of the occupation, i.e. in the occupied major cities – Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva, Hadera and Bnei Brak. […]
“All Israelis carry weapons, and are classified under the reserve soldiers category due to their compulsory service” […]
“The five martyrs of the Tel Aviv, Hadera, Beer Sheva and Bnei Brak operations”
Following the March 29th attack in Bnei Brak attack in which four civilians and police officer Amir Khoury were killed:
“A morning of a land holy and pure, saturated with the blood of the martyrs […], latest but not last was martyr Diaa Hamarsheh, a dutiful son of Jenin. Palestine is uprising […] with the blood of its heroes, it draws a [line of] separation between honor and humiliation. Be optimistic about victory, you find it as it is coming with Allah’s help”.