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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

'Palestinian' dancers

Last night, the Jerusalem Post reported that Bari Atwan, the editor of London-based Arabic daily al-Quds al-Arabi said that he would 'dance in Trafalgar Square' if Iran struck Israel with nuclear weapons.
Talking about Iran's nuclear capability on ANB Lebanese television on June 27, Abd Al-Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, said, "If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight."

...

Bari Atwan founded the pan-Arab daily in London in 1989, and today the paper has a circulation of around 50,000. He is also a regular commentator on Sky News and BBC News 24.

Sky News refused to comment specifically on his comments.

"It is not our policy to comment on what contributors may or may not say on other channels," said Adrian Wells, head of foreign news at Sky.

A BBC spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that editors make decisions based on the following BBC guidelines.

"We should not automatically assume that academics and journalists from other organizations are impartial and make it clear to our audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint."

"The BBC is required to explore a range of views, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or underrepresented."

"The BBC will sometimes need to report on or interview people whose views may cause serious offense to many in our audiences. We must be convinced, after appropriate referral, that a clear public interest outweighs the possible offense."

"We [the BBC] must rigorously test contributors expressing contentious views during an interview."
Undoubtedly, neither Sky nor al-Beeb will do anything to Atwan in response to his comments. In fact, they're likely to have him on more frequently. But that's not why this story is here. When I saw this story, I thought of the 'Palestinians' dancing in celebration of 9/11, and of the late Faisal al-Husseini dancing on the roofs of homes in Judea and Samaria praying that Saddam Hussein's scud missiles would strike Israelis during Gulf War I. But blogger Publius Pundit had a much more biting commentary:
Finally an honest Arab Muslim! It should not be a secret anymore that (some) Muslims use religion as a shield to justify murder especially when those targeted are Jews. Their real oppressor is not Israel. Palestinians should look at their own government (s) and the 'elite' that keeps them in misery and hide behind religion to achieve power&money.

...

As soon as we accept that terrorism is nihilistic rage unconnected with, and not a reaction to, any actions or policies on Jews/American part the better.
Could not have said it better myself.

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