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Abdel Bari Atwan and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

The self-styled Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) is actually a hate campaign. In particular, proponents of the most extreme violence are very welcome at its events. Come speak to us!

The latest is the journalist Abdel Bari Atwan. He will speak at a PSC event in Brighton on 14 September. Note how the PSC advertise the meeting:

He has also said ’Palestinians tried the “peace process”…now we should go back to square one, which means resistance’.

Dancing for War
This is how bad it gets. In a discussion of the Iranian nuclear programme, Mr Atwan turns to Israel:

If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight if the Iranian missiles strike Israel.

Osama bin Laden – Only “Half a Terrorist”
Don’t be too harsh on Osama Bin Laden, like the Americans:

Interviewer: That was back then, but now, in 2013, do you consider Bin Laden a terrorist?

Abd Al-Bari Atwan: As I’ve said, the Americans consider him a terrorist…

Interviewer: Do you, Abd Al-Bari Atwan, consider Bin Laden a terrorist?

Abd Al-Bari Atwan: He was half a terrorist. He was fighting for some causes…

Interviewer: But in general, do you consider him a terrorist?

Abd Al-Bari Atwan: When he was fighting the U.S., trying to drive its forces out of the Arabian Peninsula, he was not a terrorist. This is my view.
[...]
Whoever fights America and its enterprise in the region, and whoever fights Israel and the American occupation, is not considered a terrorist by me.

Actually, consider bin Laden’s achievements!

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.

What Do You Call a Child Murderer?
In 1997 Jordanian soldier Ahmed Daqamseh shot dead seven Israeli schoolgirls on a field trip to Naharayim. The Jordanian authorities arrested and prosecuted him. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released earlier this year.

How to describe such a monster? As a “beacon” and a “hero”, that’s how. When Daqamseh was released, Atwan said:

“The entire Arab nation is celebrating (Daqamseh’s release), not just the Jordanians. The vast majority of this nation considers Ahmed Daqamseh a national hero, an Islamic hero, and an Arab hero, in the full sense of the word. That man defended the honor of the Jordanian land and of the Arab nation, after he was subjected to the mockery of (Israeli) girls.
[...]
“That man has become a symbol in the full sense of the word. He has become a beacon for many people, who yearn for the good old Arab days, when pan-Arab sentiments still existed, and most Arab regimes still considered Israel to be the enemy.”

What About the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva Massacre?
In 2008 a Palestinian terrorist massacred eight young students at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem. This was Atwan’s call on the horrific crime:

The editor of a pan-Arab daily published in London says the terrorist attack on Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav Yeshiva on March 6 attack was “justified” and that the religious seminary is responsible for “hatching Israeli extremists and fundamentalists.” In his lead article last Sunday, Abd al-Bari Atwan, editor of Al-Quds Al-Arabi, chose not to condemn the shooting attack in which eight students were killed and nine were wounded, and said the celebrations in Gaza that followed symbolized the “courage of the Palestinian nation.”

Ugly Scenes at LSE
When he faces opposition, Atwan’s ugly character is revealed for all to see. Consider these scenes at LSE:

The lecture, held by the student union’s Palestine Society at LSE last week, descended into chaos after 30 Jewish students walked out in protest.

Mr Atwan referred to the “Jewish lobby” at least four times and called Israel a “racist state” and a “dictatorship”.

He turned to a Jewish questioner and said: “This is a smear campaign against me. Who is bombing? Am I bombing the Israelis? Are Gazans bombing Israelis? Who bombed Gaza? Who killed thousands of people in Lebanon? They should be ashamed of themselves. You are bombing us every day.”

He said the “Jewish lobby” was “extremely dangerous and is endangering the whole planet, the whole world”, and that it “controlled” the American Senate, Congress and media.

When asked to condemn Hamas and Hizbollah, Mr Atwan declared: “Do you want me to condemn people for resisting the occupation? Did Hamas commit ethnic cleansing?”

During a question and answer session, Ben Grabiner, LSE’s antiracism officer, spoke about the LSE’s antisemitism policy: “Antisemitism includes but is not limited to accusation of Jewish control of the world, government, media as well as blaming Jews as a collective for imagined or real atrocities.

“This evening, Mr Atwan, you’ve pointed at Jewish students and said: ‘You’ve bombed Gaza’. You’ve used the term Jewish and Zionist lobby interchangeably, that is also antisemitic, and you’ve published pictures of the star of David interspersed with Nazi propaganda.”

In response, a female member of the audience shouted at Mr Grabiner: “You are a Nazi!”

The Raed Salah Marker
Raed Salah, the blood libel sheikh, is a useful marker in these matters. His travails in the UK flushed out some very nasty supporters. Atwan was among them, muttering about “influence”:

Atwan notes, however, that few are surprised by this disgraceful action because 80% of Conservative Members of Parliament are Friends of Israel and benefit from its bottomless pit of political largesse. He concluded his comment by thanking Raed Salah for exposing the extraordinary hypocrisy of the British government and its false claims of respect for democracy and human rights.


Abdel Bari Atwan with Raed Salah

The PSC – A Good Crowd for Atwan
With this record, Atwan should be popular in PSC circles. This is a group where one can find several examples of outrageous antisemitism in a single rally. This one, for example. “Blood drinking swine”, “Go back to Poland”, “Israeli Jews to the sea”, and so on ad nauseam.

Here one sees PSC leaders in a very special moment, meeting Hamas in Gaza.

So, is Jeremy Corbyn still a patron of the PSC? Why yes, of course he is.

In fact, here is Mr Corbyn with Mr Atwan and crazed Hamas supporter Azzam “Kaboom” Tamimi.

Brighton Quakers and “Resistance”
The Brighton event will be held at the Quaker meeting house. Note its terms and conditions for venue bookings:

Brighton Quaker Meeting reserves the right to cancel any booking or event at any time. Any money paid before cancellation will be returned. Examples of the circumstance for cancellation could include

- The aims and policies of the organisation or individual hirer are in serious conflict with Quaker values.
- Violence or the encouragement of violence at the event may reasonably be anticipated.

In addition:

If the booking is for a public or performance event the wording of publicity and flyers etc must be agreed with us in advance. At least two weeks before a public/open meeting, a draft of the text proposed for any advertisement of the booking should be sent to the Meeting House for approval. We reserve the right to require changes to the wording, or refuse any speaker who is not acceptable.

Wait a minute. Quakers are pacifists, right? I suppose “we should go back to square one, which means resistance’” and a man with Atwan’s record is just, well, erm, um, “different”.