Political and social observations from two aspiring hedgehogs who love the Isaiah Berlin essay.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
As reported by MEMRI (where one can view a video clip of the interview, with English subtitles) and The Jerusalem Post, Abd Al-Bari Atwan, the Editor-in-Chief of the United Kingdom based Arabic daily, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, told a Lebanese television interviewer, "If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight." (HT: Little Green Footballs.)
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. Apparently, those British news services were not terribly disturbed that one of their commentators applauded the prospects for the nuclear destruction of the Jewish State. A BBC spokesperson told the Jerusalem Post that any problem regarding Mr. Atwan's point of view would properly be addressed by informing "our audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint.” Probably something along the lines of "Listeners and viewers should be aware that Mr. Atwan is an advocate of genocide against the Jews. We welcome opposing points of view from responsible spokespersons."
Mr. Atwan and those of his ilk never seem concerned about the casualties that inevitably would be suffered by the Arab population of Israel, mostly Muslims, in the event of a nuclear attack on Israel. I rather suspect that the Iranian nuclear weapons program has not yet progressed to the point where its warheads will differentiate between Arab and Jew. Of course, by now that lack of regard even for Arab and Muslim lives should not be surprising. The Islamist world seems always prepared to welcome the death of martyrs as the price of attacks on the infidel, even where the martyrs have not volunteered to die.