Influential Gazan editor of ‘Al-Quds Al-Arabi’ quits

Arab nationalist, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel writer Abdel Bari Atwan announces resignation after more than 25 years.

July 11, 2013 23:29
1 minute read.
Al-Quds al-Arabi chief editor ABDEL BARI ATWAN

Al-Quds al-Arabi chief editor ABDEL BARI ATWAN 370. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor in chief of the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, announced his resignation on Wednesday.

“I have written my daily editorials on the pages of Al-Quds Al- Arabi for more than a quarter of a century, but this particular journalistic journey has arrived at its final station,” he wrote in a farewell article.

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Atwan is an Arab nationalist, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel and anti-US writer.

For example, The Jerusalem Post quoted him as saying on Lebanese TV on June 27, 2007, “If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.”

In 2003, he claimed in an op-ed that the US is to blame for the Arab world’s hatred of it.

In 1996, Atwan interviewed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.

In May of this year he wrote that the assassination of bin Laden and the invasion of Afghanistan have not diminished al-Qaida, but that it “has become stronger, more dangerous and more widespread.”

“Before 9/11, al-Qaida was a small organization arranging operations against US targets in the region: US embassies in Nairobi and Dar el Salaam or the USS Cole [guided missile destroyer] in South Yemen’s port of Aden.

“Now the entire scene has changed. Al-Qaida has spread across much of the Islamic world.”

Atwan, a Palestinian born in Gaza in 1950, has lived in London since 1979 and has been the editor of the newspaper, founded by Palestinians, since 1989.

The paper is one of the most important Arab dailies and he claims in his farewell piece that despite being banned by countries such as Saudi Arabia, Syria and Bahrain, “we have become the most widespread and influential Arab paper online, according to statistics from Alexa and Google Agency.”

In his farewell statement, he said that he never compromised his opinions.

“I have championed the paper since its inception, we have stood in the trenches with our Arab nation and our creed, we have fought fierce battles in the face of occupation and foreign domination, we have challenged oppressive dictatorships and corrupt regimes, we have supported the oppressed and the persecuted,” he wrote.

Atwan said that he plans to continue writing in other venues and that he is writing a book in English.

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