Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Tuesday 1 February 2011

“Always Good to See You,” gushed the BBC Presenter to the Anti-Israel Arab Extremist

London-based Dr Abdel Bari Atwan, who’s dedicated (for some audiences subtly) to Israel’s overthrow, is, thanks to a fawning media, a familiar face on British television. Born in Gaza in 1950, he attended school in Jordan and studied journalism at Cairo University. He moved to London in 1978, working for a Saudi publication, and is now a British citizen.

In certain Arabic media, pre-eminently the widely-distributed Pan-Arab newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi (circulation about 50,000 according to one estimate), which he’s edited since its foundation in London in 1989 (and which has been banned or censored for its extremism in some pro-Western Arab countries), he’s foams with fury and venom against Israel and the West, and exults at their tragedies and setbacks. In 1996 he got a scoop by donning Afghan robes, trekking into remote terrain, and securing an interview with Osama Bin Laden, who took the opportunity of issuing a fatwa.

Dr Atwan can be considered one of those Arab radicals who’s made Londonistan what it is, to the avowed satisfaction of Frances Guy, a principal dhimmi-driver of Foreign Office appeasement (see her quoted remarks in my post of 15 January, “Drivers of Dhimmitude ...”)

The splendid Canadian columnist Mark Steyn – whose departure as a regular columnist from Britain’s Daily Telegraph is much regretted by his numerous admirers – has described Atwan aptly as a “celebrity eliminationist”, for there seems to be no shortage of Western venues and Western broadcasters prepared to host the extremist editor.

In this photo, for instance, Atwan’s seen at the Edinburgh International Festival of Books in 2009, while Dr Ghada Karmi, whose father worked for the BBC’s Arabic Service, says her piece.

Dr Kharmi, who’s a Research Fellow at the Institute of Arab & Islamic studies at Exeter University and is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and vice-chair of the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU), is herself no stranger to the television studio. Aged eight when the State of Israel was born, and brought up in Britain – she has a plummy English accent that’s very easy on the ear and a fascinating manner to accompany it – she’s got a tale of having to leave her little dog Rexy behind when her family fled – a tale guaranteed to tug at the heartstrings – and is known for such statements as these:

"There is actually nothing — repeat, nothing — positive about the existence of Israel, as far as the Arabs are concerned.... It has increased the danger in the Arab world and is a threat not only to the security of the region, but the security of the whole world."
"...Israel, from its inception in 1948, has been given the most wonderful opportunity to behave itself, and it clearly has not done so. It's flouted every single law, it's behaved outrageously, it's made a travesty of international and humanitarian law. On what basis should this state continue to be a member of the United Nations?"
‘The two-state solution ... panders to Israel's paranoia over "demography," an ambiguous term that refers to the morally repugnant wish to preserve Israel's Jewish ethnic purity.’

And, of course, the Israel-hating lefties at events like that festival, just like susceptible TV audiences, lap it all up.

Dr Atwan has a similar track record of anti-Israel statements – and anti-Western ones of the most obnoxious kind.

For instance, "The events of 11 September will be remembered as the end of the US empire. This is because all empires collapse when they pursue the arrogance of power."
Yes, this was reported by the BBC, yet despite that – or perhaps because of it – Al Beeb can’t get enough of him, it would seem!

Disregarding Saddam Hussein’s bloody persecution of Marsh Arabs and Iraqi Kurds, Atwan stated that Saddam deserved to be honoured for preserving "the unity of Iraq, its Arab and Islamic identity and the coexistence of its different communities". (Africa News, 31 December 2006; hat tip:

During an interview on Lebanon’s ANB TV ( 27 June 2008) Atwan declared of a nuclear-armed Iran: " If a war breaks out, where will the Iranians retaliate? If Iran is able to retaliate, it will burn the oil wells, block the Strait of Hormuz, attack the American bases in the Gulf and, God willing, it will attack Israel, as well. If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.”

That same year, he pronounced as “justified” the cold-blooded terrorist attack on the MercazHaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, which left eight young men dead and another nine wounded, claiming that the yeshiva was "hatching Israeli extremists and fundamentalists”. He described the consequent celebrations in Gaza as symbolic of the "courage of the Palestinian nation" and added that events in Gaza might "mark the countdown to Israel's destruction."

Lior Ben-Dor, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in London, described those words as “ alarming, since Atwan is perceived as a legitimate and unbiased analyst by the British media, and is often invited to voice his views in different media platforms. The problem is that when addressing the British public, he tends to hide his true opinions and ideology – his support for terror and the murder of civilians. This article reveals Atwan's real colors, a supporter of fundamentalism and terror, and hence he should be treated accordingly".

Ben-Dor’s warning fell on deaf ears. And similarly ignored, evidently, was this comment made in October 2003 by Munir Al-Mawari, a Yemeni journalist based in the United States:
"The Abd Al-Bari Atwan [appearing] on CNN is completely different from the Abd Al-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."
In December last year Atwan addressed a meeting at one of Britain’s cesspools of Israel-delegitimising activity, that old leftist stomping ground, the London School of Economics (LSE).

Blogger Tom Friedmann described the evidently torrid occasion thus:
‘Really Atwan’s behaviour at the event was much to be expected, although few thought he would actually be foolish enough to openly use the terms ‘Jewish Lobby’ and ‘Zionist Lobby’ interchangeably, indeed Freudian slip or not it at least revealed what he really thinks on this subject. No doubt a great embarrassment to those in the anti-Israel movement who smugly go around professing how much they adore Jews but that rather it’s simply Zionists they have quarrel with. Clearly Atwan has no interest in indulging such pretences; at one point during the question and answer session even pointing to a Jewish student and saying ‘you bombed children in Gaza’, this being his response to a question about his Iran statements which this time he both failed to deny or dissociate himself from in anyway, instead preferring yet another incoherent tirade against Israel.
 Anyone familiar with Atwan and his Saudi funded propaganda paper would be hard pressed to claim genuine surprise at his conduct during his evening at LSE, what was much more shocking was the behaviour of the chairing Professor; Martha Mundy. Draped in a hideous black velvet Bedouin style gown (presumably as much a rebuke to Western fashion as a show of solidarity to the Palestinians) Mundy was the wizen grimacing face of the Leftwing alliance with the fanatics of the Middle East. Openly declaring that she was prioritising questions from Women, as well as possibly racially profiling her selected members of the audience, she continuously interrupted and patronised those questions that came from the floor in anything other than a tone praiseful of Bari Atwan. The most surreal moments of all came when she jovially laughed during Atwan’s mocking of the question concerning his support for Iran nuking Israel. Her display only got more unnerving when she flew into a rage upon a student eluding to her being unfair in how she was taking questions, ‘EXCUSE ME!’ she screamed as she leapt to her feet and slammed her fists down on the desk. Perhaps her conduct should be considered unsurprising also, she is after all a member of the hardline BRICUP, a group supposedly for Palestinian Universities (of which there were none prior to Israel taking over administration of the territories in 1967). She has also called for the academic boycott of Israel, a disgustingly discriminatory proposal made particularly farcical by her claim that Israeli academics have failed to criticise their government’s actions, something which could hardly be further from the truth.

 As it was Mundy was almost as responsible for whipping the crowed up into a fury as was Bari Atwan himself. Indeed the Jewish and Israel supporting students who dared to turn out to challenge the false narrative presented at the lecture found themselves in the midst of a fierce and hostile audience only further incited by the rhetoric of the speaker. I can say with certainty that I heard Muslim girls seated behind me laughing when another student said that he knew someone who had been killed by a Hamas Rocket from Gaza. Perhaps the most sickening moment of all came when LSE’s Students Union anti-Racism officer stood up and asked Atwan how he could justify having superimposed Nazi Symbols onto the Star of David in his newspaper. To this a girl in the front row retorted ‘Yeh you are Nazi’s’ and despite the outrage this provoked among the Jewish students present the girl who made the comment was neither ejected nor reprimanded, rather Professor Mundy demanded that those students incensed by this remark be quiet or leave. Finally several Jewish students did leave in tears, including the President of the Israel Society who exited to harrowing shouts of ‘go get her’ from others present. Eventually there came the long awaited exodus of the remaining decent students left in the audience, so bringing the whole horrendous affair to a close.

 And see extracts here – but not before you read the remainder of this post!

For more on American-born Professor Martha Mundy, an expert in the anthropology of Sharia, who on a further happier occasion at LSE when an anti-Israel motion was defeated ( had a run-in at LSE with barrister Jonathan Arkush, a senior vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, explaining "I felt considerably harassed by what I perceived as organised male aggression” (by the way, what is it about some western feminists that they are only too quick to condemn the Western male for alleged “chauvinism” or – as here – aggression, yet happily align themselves with misogynistic Islamic causes? Is it a Rudolf Valentino seductive sheikh thing? I really would like to know!) see 

Despite all, the antisemitic anti-West extremist Atwan is the man who the long despicable, increasingly dhimmified BBC still loves to trot out to comment on Middle Eastern affairs, and whom they wheeled into the studio yesterday morning (Monday) in order to ask him how Israel must be feeling now that Mubarak ‘s regime seems to be in tatters. That’s right, they chose to interview an Arab extremist on that topic – not even an Israeli!

Following the interview, in which Atwan was treated as usual with studied deference, the male presenter who’d given him free rein said in a chummy, heartfelt tone after thanking their Palestinian poster boy for his comments, “Always Good to See You”.

Having Atwan on is integral to Al Beeb’s preferred take on the current Egyptian crisis, it appears.

Is it any wonder that Israel’s friends – in common with so many people dismayed and disgusted at its incorrigible leftist bias on other issues, including its marginalisation of all religions except for Islam – believe that Al Beeb is no longer fit for purpose and that its funding by a compulsory licence fee (in effect a poll tax on every household in Britain with a television, whether the household watches Al Beeb or not) is nothing less than an outrage?


  1. Atwan is an all too regular guest on the BBC Dateline London. He always gets an easy ride from whoever is presenting the program, occasionaly an American guest will look agast at Atwan's comments and the European, Asian and even Africans look too embarrassed to challange the crap spouted by him. He obviously fits in with the BBC agenda along with that other little creep Ali Baba Brown who's never off the box.
    As far as the licence fee is concerned it's the only houshold bill I really hate paying,you have no control as a consumer, you can even end up in jail if you refuse to pay.
    Jonathan Sacerdoti was a breath of fresh air the other week on Dateline.

  2. Hi, Steve!
    That's Yasmin Alibhai-Brown for the uninitiated.
    So many of the BBC correspondents - Rageh Omar, John Simpson, Jeremy Bowen - in addition to their fat salaries paid at licence-payers' expense have also written books (nice little earners which also give those reporters, who are supposed to be objective, another chance to put their own prejudiced spin on things). I think it's outrageous that they can make money out of books they've written as a result of their license-payer funded employment - it's not as though they've retired or offer those tomes free or even half-price to the licence-paying masses.
    They are also so smug and cliquey and ... oh, I could go on and on and on!

  3. It's always excruciating to witness these squalid Israel bashing hate fests, as in the video above at the LSE. I've got nothing but admiration for the brave Jewish students who attend these ghastly events, venturing into a den of lions.

    As for the execrable and degenerate Dr(?)Atwan, he is just another foot soldier of Amalek playing his part for the forces of darkness.

    "There is actually nothing — repeat, nothing — positive about the existence of Israel, as far as the Arabs are concerned.''. Indeed,the demonic can only recoil from the good.

  4. I agree, Roger.
    And that "Dr" title does seem inexplicable ...

  5. Meanwhile, the execrable Jeremy Bowen has been telling porkies about the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood:
    Says Jeremy Bowen on the BBC:
    "The country’s only properly organised mass political movement outside the ruling party is the Muslim Brotherhood, and it would do very well in any free election.
    Unlike the jihadis, it does not believe it is at war with the West. It is conservative, moderate and non-violent. But it is highly critical of Western policy in the Middle East."

  6. Good post.

    I've written to the BBC and Sky News numerous times to complain about their persistent use of this nasty imbecile, yet they continue to bring him on. The wierd thing is that (as I first posted in 2006 on my blog) he actually knows nothing about the Middle East and almost every one of his 'insights/predicitons' has turned out to be completely wrong:

    Also regarding the LSE, with Sir Howard Davies in charge, do not expect things to get better there any time soon. See my update here:


  7. Thanks for your input, Edgar. As you know, I'm a big fan of your blog. I shall have pleasure in seeking out those links ...

  8. Daphne. I wouldn't be too worried as one commenter points out. Atwan's one sided hysterical presentation of the IP conflict gains sympathy for Israel. His performances on the BBC are very often accompanied by uncomfortable glances from other interviewees/commenters, who seem very embarrassed to be on the 'same stage' with this clown. Here he is telling everyone what a great liar Arafat was and how happy he was about it.

  9. Thanks, Anon - I've just had a look at that video.


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