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.
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
“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
“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.