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Black is White, Up is Down: Master of distortion

February 5, 2012

by Avi Melamed

Mr. Abdel Bari Atwan is the Chief Editor of a very popular London based, Arab newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

Mr. Atwan, who lives In the UK, is a very welcome guest on British television, Al Jazeera and other media channels. I recently saw him on a Middle East panel hosted by one of the British TV channels and I was struck by the fact that neither the host nor the other participants found it appropriate to ask Mr. Atwan some tough questions regarding his outspoken opinions.

For example, they could have asked Mr. Atwan to explain the way he described Osama Bin Laden in articles he published following the killing of Bin Laden.

Here is a quote from an editorial he published the day after Bin Laden was killed, entitled The Osama Bin Laden I Knew:

“Bin Laden was simple man, modest, soft spoken…..I remember I asked him what is your biggest desire?…Bin Laden kept quiet for a while and then he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said I wish to be a Martyr…..

Mr. Atwan went onto write:

“The new generation of Al Qaeda is far more dangerous that the old generation that lived and was educated in the West, the generation that perpetrated the violent terror attacks in Madrid and London and also led the attacks on the American targets on 9/11…..I do admit that I have contradicting feelings toward Bin Laden…Though I totally disagree with the ideology of Al Qaeda, and reject the attacks on civilians, I owe personal thanks to Bin Laden for his role in two major milestones in my professional career as a journalist…

The next day Mr. Atwan wrote another editorial on the subject, “We will not believe until we see the Body.”

In this article he describes the American administration as liars:

“Is it reasonable to believe that a man who fought the Soviets for 10 years and the Americans for 15 years will use his wife as a human shield?…..The American administration announced that they will publish a photo but it should be clear right now – as far as we are concerned – it is not proof…We are aggravated when we hear the American President declare that Justice was done…Justice should be carried out in a fair trial where the defendant has the chance to present his case even if he has already been convicted in the media and court of public opinion.”

Mr. Atwan’s total distortion of reality, as demonstrated above, is further exacerbated when it comes to Israel. His animosity towards the State of Israel is well known.  He spares no effort to demonstrate his malice and believes that all means are legitimate for that purpose.

Here is the latest example, in his article published on February 4, 2012 entitled “Israel Threatens and Iran is Defiant”

In this article Mr. Atwan, in a very sophisticated manner, argues that the tough Iranian rhetoric towards the west is actually only a reaction to what Mr. Atwan describes as the “Israeli warmongering and threats against Iran.”   So, he says, in actuality, Iran is not interested in any conflict, they are only seeking to defend themselves, but if the Israelis want to attack, then they are “welcome.”

I invite you to read below and to consider who is really threatening who?

  • The Iranian regime constantly describes Israel as a “cancer,” a “virus” and a “disease” that must be eradicated
  • The Iranian regime openly threatens to destroy the State of Israel
  • Israel has never threatened to destroy Iran
  • The Iranian regime describes the US as the “Big Satan” and Israel, according to that regime, is the “Small Satan
  • The hatred of the Iranian regime towards Israel is rabid and determined to dehumanize Israelis – the Iranian President announced that Israelis only look human
  • The Iranian regime is openly threatening the Arab Gulf States as well as the West
  • The Iranian regime openly threatened to block the Straits of Hurmoz which would block 20% of world’s crude oil
  • General Qasim Sulaimani, the commander of Al Quds force, the spearhead of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, recently declared that: Iraq, Palestine and South Lebanon are already under the control of Iran and Jordan will be next.”
  • The Al Quds force controls a vast structure of terror and espionage cells worldwide. Reminder – a couple of months ago a terror cell guided by Al Quds force was involved in a plot to assassinate the Saudi  Ambassador to the US on US soil.
  • Recent IAEA report Iran is continuing to develop a military nuclear project, thus defying international community resolutions and demands
  • The Iranian regime signed and reapproved the NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty) yet it did not stop the regime from violating it. As a result, four rounds of sanctions were imposed on the Iranian regime by the UN Security Council

But as far as Mr. Atwan is concerned, the facts are totally irrelevant.  He shamelessly distorts reality and unfortunately, no one in the media is confronting his twisted views with the facts.

Perhaps, one of the reasons is that those who offer this man an international stage and those that listen to him, like most people in the West – do not speak Arabic.  If they were fluent in Arabic, and knew what he writes, perhaps they would have asked Mr. Atwan some tough questions.

As far as the links…..any translation mechanism you have on your computer will enable you to get the main points of the article even if it is not a perfect translation.

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