Jerusalem terrorist is a ‘lion’, ex-BBC pundit says on YouTube

AbdeL Bari Atwan posted a video on site glorifying last week’s terrorist shootings


Abdel Bari Atwan, the controversial BBC contributor who was quietly dropped after a JC campaign, has posted a video on YouTube glorifying last week’s terrorist shootings in Jerusalem that left seven dead and five seriously wounded.

In the video, posted on Mr Atwan’s personal channel from an interview he gave to the Oman TV channel Al-Wisal, he describes mass murderer Khairy Alqam, 21, who was shot dead after opening fire on worshippers leaving a synagogue, as a “lion”, and the 13-year-old-boy who wounded two hours later as a “lion cub”.

“All Israelis want to kill Arabs. None of the Israelis wants peace,” Mr Atwan says. “The Palestinian field has decided to commence an intifada. It has decided to call out a great ‘no’, accompanied with live bullets…

“These are resistance warriors with very high morals.They know Allah, they know what is right, and they know human rights.”

The video, translated into English by media watchdog CAMERA Arabic, continues: “There is no safety now, nor is there stability or prosperity. Capital has begun to flow out of the Israeli occupation state. They are returning to New York, London and Berlin…

“Enough with the exploitation of us Arabs and Muslims. No, we must raise our heads! These men are defending Al-Aqsa, they are defending Jerusalem and the Arab-Christian churches around… We must assert that we are proud of them! We must aid and support them. By Allah, every good word will raise their minds and spirits to heaven.”

Mr Atwan was a frequent BBC commentator in both English and Arabic, although the JC understands that staff were recently advised not to use him.

The main video was deleted by YouTube a day-and-a-half after the JC made contact. But copy remained on Atwan’s smaller, backup channel as we went to press. This too was removed the following day.

A spokesperson for Google, which owns YouTube, told the JC: “After review, we removed content from the channel of Abdel Bari Atwan for violating our policies around violent extremism which strictly prohibit content that glorifies or promotes violent tragedies. YouTube’s policies apply to everyone.”

Mr Atwan was contacted for comment.

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