Al Aqsa leader: American Jewish teens are our ideal target (& Fisk on Walt)

May 01, 2006


1. “I regret that Wultz is still alive”
2. More conspiracy: “Israelis warned before Dahab attacks”
3. Not how to report a suicide bombing
4. Robert Fisk interviews Stephen Walt
5. The Independent and neo-Nazi sites
6. Letters to The Independent
7. Hamas still directing terror operations
8. YMCA threatened by Hamas in West Bank
9. London Jews say “no” to Livingstone
10. Dilpazier Aslam update
11. “Comatose Florida teen ‘best target we can dream of’” (WND, April 27, 2006)
12. “West Bank: Islamic clerics want to close YMCA” (Daily Telegraph, April 28, 2006)
13. “London Jews say ‘no’ to mayor” (Something Jewish, April 27, 2006)
14. “Egyptian police detain Al Jazeera TV’s Cairo bureau chief” (Reuters, April 27, 2006)
15. “Israelis warned to leave prior Dahab bombings” (Tehran Times, April 30, 2006)
16. “Q & A with The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger” (Asharq Al-Awsat, April 29, 2006)

[Note by Tom Gross]

I attach a series of news items. Most of them are follow-ups to other recent items on this list.


Abu Nasser, a senior leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank, has said that Danny Wultz was the “best target combination we can dream of – American and Zionist.” (Wultz was referred to in the dispatch of April 24 titled “The mushroom cloud is on its way” (& American teen victim loses leg).)

This morning officials at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital said Wultz, 16, from Florida, was (according to today’s Ha’aretz) still “fighting for his life.” Having already had one of his legs amputated, doctors are still trying to save his other leg, which is suffering from severely reduced blood flow. He has already lost a kidney and his spleen.

Abu Nasser added “It is known that the Jews are sly and not honest, and they are leading into this trap of the Middle East in order to carry out their plan of controlling the world.” (The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which was established by Yasser Arafat after he launched the Intifada, remains under the control of Palestinian President Abbas’s Fatah party.)

Abu Ayman, a leader of another terror group, Islamic Jihad, which jointly took responsibility for the April 17 Tel Aviv bombing with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, threatened all Americans and Jews worldwide and expressed regret that Wultz is still alive. (For more details, see the article below.)


Continuing its conspiracy theories against Israel, the Iranian-government backed Tehran Times claimed yesterday that “Israelis were warned to leave (Egypt) prior (to the) Dahab bombings” last week that killed 21 people. The Iranian newspaper added that “some experts stated that they believe that Israel was behind the operation, referring to some reports saying that Israelis were advised to avoid Egypt prior the attacks.”

This claim follows a pattern of alleging that Israelis were warned to leave prior to a terror attack and therefore Israelis, not Islamic terrorists, were somehow behind such atrocities. Notable previous examples include:

* The September 11 attacks

* Following the attacks in London on July 7, 2005, the Associated Press falsely claimed that the then Israeli Finance Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in London at the time, was “warned to stay in his hotel room.” For more on this, see the article The BBC discovers ‘terrorism,’ briefly.

* Shortly after the attacks in Amman on Nov. 9, 2005, many Arab websites picked up and expanded on a false report in Ha’aretz that “A number of Israelis… were evacuated before the bombing… due to a specific security alert.” For more, see Tehran Times today: The phenomenal lie of the “Holocaust” (& Ha’aretz’s dangerous misreporting) (Nov. 10, 2005).

Meanwhile, Egyptian police have detained Hussein Abdel Ghani, Al Jazeera television’s Cairo bureau chief, accusing him of spreading “false” information while reporting the Dahab bombings. (For more, see the Reuters article below.)


Last week in his column “On The Press,” Stephen Glover, one of the founding editors of the British daily The Independent, criticized his own paper for its coverage. It is remarkable for a senior journalist at any anti-Israeli newspaper to criticize his own paper in this way.

Glover, who is sent dispatches on this list by another senior UK journalist who subscribes to it, follows up the criticism of the Independent made in the dispatch “The victims are no different from those slain on September 11, 2001” (April 18, 2006).

In an item headlined “Not how to report a suicide bombing” (April 24, 2006, The Independent,, Glover writes:

“Perhaps the reader will believe me when I say that in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict I am as neutral as it is possible to be. So last Tuesday I was a little dismayed by the manner in which the Independent – though it was not alone – reported the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. The opening paragraphs of the piece were entirely devoted to the youth of the bomber, Samer Samih Hamad, and to the anti-Israeli remarks of his relatives, who sought to justify the bombing. There was little description of the horrors that the bomber had inflicted, and scant details about the nine victims. Generally, I do not go along with suggestions by members of the Jewish lobby that reporting of Israel is skewed. On this occasion, I could see their point.”


On the other hand, on April 27, The Independent continued its series of not infrequent anti-Israeli (and some believe anti-Semitic) articles, with another piece by its chief Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk. This time Fisk interviews Stephen Walt (of the infamous Mearsheimer/Walt paper on “The [Jewish] Lobby” in America) with a picture of the American flag in which the stars of the union are replaced by Stars of David, under the headline: “The United States of Israel?”

As Melanie Phillips points out: “The image makes the claim that America is run by the Jews. As such, it is merely a variant on the ‘Jewish conspiracy’ theory that has long been a defining feature of anti-Jewish prejudice… The idea that America’s Jews have had more influence over the policy of the United States than the Arab oil lobby has had is, of course, ludicrous. And as anyone who has addressed an audience of American Jews on the east or west coast rapidly discovers, to support Bush or the war in Iraq is often to provoke a hostile reaction, since American Jews overwhelmingly vote Democrat (supporting the party that is most lukewarm towards Israel), have views on Bush which are unprintable and did not generally support the war in Iraq.”


Harry’s Place, a left-wing, pro-Israeli, pro-American (and I might add, non-Jewish) blog neatly juxtaposes the Independent illustration with near-identical ones from neo-Nazi and other racist websites. I suggest you take a look at both the Independent magazine’s front cover and the neo-Nazi covers by scrolling down on this posting.


On April 28, 2006, The Independent printed two letters on Fisk’s piece. Both the authors (Carol Gould and Henry Grunwald) are subscribers to this email list, as is Melanie Phillips, quoted above:

Why Americans admire Israel

Sir: In “United States of Israel?” (27 April) Robert Fisk asserts that the mainstream US press and television are “pro-Israeli, biased and gutless”. I watch the CBS, ABC and NBC news every evening on UK cable and Israel rarely, if ever, gets a mention. I read the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and Washington Post and Israel news is buried inside if at all.

Lobbyists aside, here is why Americans admire and support Israel: like the USA with its Mayo Clinic and Microsoft and Nasa, Israel has its phenomenal Weizmann Institute and Herzliya Centre for Neurological Diseases along with countless other outstanding institutions and immense cultural life that rose from the ashes of Auschwitz.

The reason why so many Americans of all faiths and backgrounds love the state of Israel is because, like the USA, it rose like a phoenix due to the sheer sweat and dedication of its founding colonists, and has been a haven for the oppressed who are willing to work hard to achieve their dreams.

Carol Gould
London NW8

Sir: Replacing the American stars with Stars of David on the US flag is the stock in trade of neo-Nazi and far right groups around the world. It is the simplest way for them to make their facile and antisemitic charge that Jews control the world’s sole superpower.

The Independent will adamantly claim that Robert Fisk’s allegations that “pro-Israelis” control American media, politics, and warfare is not to be confused with antisemitic conspiracy theories – but if a picture speaks a thousand words, then its chosen illustration of Stars of David on the US flag speaks volumes.

As Robert Fisk himself says in the article, referring to the views of Noam Chomsky, the well-known critic of Israel, “he [Chomsky] suggests that American corporate business has more to do with US policy in the Middle East than Israel’s supporters”. This makes the front page of Fisk’s article (Independent Extra, 27 April) both unworthy and unjustified.

Henry Grunwald QC
President, The Board of Deputies of British Jews, London WC1


Whilst much of the mainstream western media have reported that Hamas continues to abide by a truce, Israeli intelligence says this is not true and that Hamas is still directing operations. For example, the attempted triple suicide and gun attack on the Karni crossing last Wednesday, April 26, was carried out under the direction of Hamas by a cell from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine led by Mamtaz Dougmoush.

Dougmoush and his cell have been operating since January 2005 (when Hamas declared the beginning of the so-called “period of calm”) with full authorization, funding, supply of weapons and professional guidance from the senior Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip. This has allowed Hamas to continue to pursue terror activity through them, while maintaining its desired image to western journalists and diplomats of non-violence.

Despite the fact that the Karni goods crossing serves as the main conduit of commodities and consumer goods for the Palestinian population in Gaza, it has been a preferred target for attacks by terror organizations over the course of the past several years.

Whilst Hamas has repeatedly declared its commitment to the wellbeing of the Palestinian people, it is in fact Hamas which stands behind a longstanding plan to attack the largest goods crossing in Gaza and it is therefore directly and fully responsible for the hardships stemming from the closing of the crossing. Despite very good Israeli intelligence, some of the attacks have been “successful,” such as the one that killed 6 Israeli civilians at Karni last year.


Muslim clerics in the West Bank have demanded the closure of a YMCA branch office, highlighting growing tensions between the Christian community and the new Hamas government. Recently, firebombs were thrown into a YMCA office in Qalqilya, forcing the Christians to move to new premises. Islamic leaders have written demanding that the YMCA office close as “the presence of this office will lead to negative consequences”.

Hashem al Masri, the deputy mayor of Qalqilya and a Hamas member, admitted that the YMCA’s name alone was a “challenge to the city.” The YMCA has offices across the West Bank and provides work for 140 Palestinians, of whom 84 are Muslim. In Qalqilya, the YMCA provides wheelchairs and prosthetics for children.


Londoners unhappy with Mayor Ken Livingstone’s criticism of Israel and his inappropriate Holocaust references and slurs on Iranian Jews, can now buy a Hebrew and English sticker to show their displeasure.

The “Say lo to Ken” sticker uses the Hebrew word for “no” which is “lo,” and plays on the word “ken” which means “yes” in Hebrew. It costs £1 (approximately $1.80) with 10 percent of the revenue going to an Israeli charity that helps disabled people take part in sport. So far, 200 stickers have been sold from an initial print run of 1000.

In February Livingstone was found guilty of bringing his office into disrepute after he compared a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard in an unprovoked remark, and refused to apologize.

Two weeks after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel should be wiped off the map, Livingstone told a UK Jewish publication that questioning the morality of Israel’s foundation was “a perfectly valid thing to say.”

For more on Livingstone, see several previous dispatches on this list.


Last year I sent two dispatches on Dilpazier Aslam, the Guardian journalist who belonged to an organization that advocated killing Jews on its website and in leaflets it handed out to British Muslims. See, for example, Dilpazier Aslam, extremist member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, sacked by The Guardian (July 26, 2005).

Readers may be interested that on Saturday Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, gave an interview about Dilpazier Aslam to Faisal Abbas, of the London-based Saudi daily Asharq Al-Awsat. In the article (attached below) Rusbridger comments that Aslam’s membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir “did cause a stir but that was not the reason behind his departure.”

I attach six articles below.

-- Tom Gross



Comatose Florida teen ‘best target we can dream of’
Terror leaders rejoice in injuries of boy critical after Tel Aviv bombing
By Aaron Klein
April 27, 2006

Daniel Wultz, a Florida teenager lying in a coma after being critically injured last week in a suicide bombing at an Israeli restaurant, is the “best target combination we can dream of – American and Zionist,” Abu Nasser, a leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, one of the groups responsible for the deadly blast, told WorldNetDaily.

Abu Ayman, a leader of the Islamic Jihad, which also took responsibility for the April 17 bombing in which Wultz was injured, threatened all Americans and Jews worldwide and expressed regret Wultz is still alive.

Wultz, 16, was one of over 60 people injured in the attack in which a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded section of Tel Aviv as Israelis celebrated the fifth day of the Passover holiday. The blast ripped through a falafel restaurant just outside the city’s old central bus station, killing nine. The same restaurant was hit by a suicide attack in January, wounding 20 people.

Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Brigades, the declared military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Wultz is a resident of Weston, Fla. He was on Passover vacation in Israel along with his family. The teenager was seated with his father, Yekutiel, at an outside table of the targeted restaurant when the bomb was detonated.

Described as an avid basketball player, Wultz lost his spleen and a kidney in the attack. Last Friday, one of his legs was amputated, and doctors at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital have reportedly been fighting to save his other leg, which is suffering from severely reduced blood flow.

Wultz’ father suffered a fractured leg in the attack.

Wultz has been lying in a coma in the intensive care unit since the bombing, though he briefly was aroused earlier this week.

His story has generated extensive media coverage and has prompted a flurry of e-mails across the Internet asking people worldwide to pray for the young terror victim.

In a WND exclusive interview yesterday, Abu Nasser, a senior leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades in the West Bank, rejoiced in Wultz’ injuries. Abu Nasser is part of the Brigades leadership in the Balata refugee camp suspected of plotting the attack.

“We are sorry there was not more of this stuff. American and Zionist – this is the best target combination we could dream of. This is the ideal target. He is a young American who came to encourage the enemy to continue his war against us,” Abu Nasser said.

The terror leader went on to blast America’s role in the Middle East, which he said was aimed at achieving Jewish world domination:

“I want to use this occasion of speaking to the American people to tell them that the unfair support of your people to Israel is the reason that you are targeted almost everywhere in the world. Second, I want to bring to your knowledge that the most cruel settlers are those who came from America. It is known that the Jews are sly and not honest, and they are leading into this trap of the Middle East in order to carry out their plan of controlling the world.”

Also speaking to WND, Islamic Jihad senior member Abu Ayman warned Americans are now enemies of the Palestinian people.

“The Americans are now the typical enemy of the believers like it is mentioned in the holy Quran. They think that they are all mighty and invincible, and they seem to not have the right conclusions from what happened to them in the last few years. The Americans are now the best representatives of the devil on earth,” Abu Ayman said.

Asked whether his terror group would target a restaurant here if they were informed it contained American civilians and not Israelis, Abu Ayman replied, “This is a hypothetical question, but in my opinion at the execution step [of an attack] nothing changes.”

He said Jews of all backgrounds are targets:

“The meaning and the goal of our lives is to fight the devil spiritually and physically. The Jews are the expression of both kinds of devil. No mercy for devils.”

Abu Ayman expressed regret Wulz wasn’t killed in last week’s terror attack.

“The only sorrow that I feel is that the Jewish parents of this Daniel Wultz did not suffer like an average Palestinian family who lost its child. Maybe if their child was killed they and the Americans would have to pay attention to the suffering of thousands of Palestinian families who lost their children.”



West Bank: Islamic clerics want to close YMCA
By Tim Butcher
The Daily Telegraph
April 28, 2006

An attempt by Muslim clerics to close a YMCA branch office in the West Bank has exposed growing tensions between the Holy Land’s dwindling Christian community and the new Palestinian government led by Hamas.

Firebombs were recently thrown into the office of the YMCA in Qalqilya, a Hamas stronghold, forcing the group to move to new premises.

Islamic leaders have written to the local council demanding that the YMCA branch office close. Their letter concludes: “The presence of this office will lead to negative consequences.”

While the religious leaders were not members of Hamas, the failure of the local Hamas-run council to protect the YMCA is concerning local Christians.

Hashem al Masri, the deputy mayor and a Hamas member, admitted that the YMCA’s name alone was a “challenge to the city”.

“I know it is not civilized to attack it, but it is a challenge to the feeling of our people,” he said.

The YMCA has offices across the West Bank giving work for 140 Palestinians, of whom 84 are Muslim.

In Qalgilya, it provides wheelchairs and prosthetics for children. This year’s budget is £50,000 and if the office closes the money will be spent elsewhere.

For decades, Christians have felt squeezed and persecuted and have seen their numbers dwindle from about 10 per cent of the population to less than two per cent in Israel and the Palestinian territories. They have been overtaken by Jewish migrants and large Muslim families and have moved on to friendly countries in the West.

The election of the Hamas government adds further pressure on the community. So sensitive is the issue that YMCA leadership in the West Bank declined to speak to The Daily Telegraph.

Instead, Norris Lineweaver, the director-general of the YMCA in West Jerusalem, explained that the problem arose simply because the word Christian appears in the group’s name.

“It is true that we have a long and proud Christian heritage but it is strictly against our policy to proselytise,” he said.

“The problems arise because of an unfortunate misunderstanding about our role. We are there simply to help the local councils, whether they are Muslim or Christian, with any youth development programmes they might have.”

Marouf Zahran, the town’s former mayor who was ousted by Hamas last year, blamed the new council for not doing enough to protect the office. “The council and other organisations did nothing to stop incitement against the YMCA.”

A local YMCA worker said Muslims and Christians should work together.

“We belong to two different religions but we are Palestinian nationalists,” he said. “We live together – Muslims and Christians.”



London Jews say ‘no’ to mayor
Bumper sticker campaign targets Ken Livingstone, London mayor who has antagonized British Jews by criticizing Israel and using inappropriate Holocaust references
By Leslie Bunder
Something Jewish
April 27, 2006,7340,L-3244705,00.html

Londoners fed up with their Mayor Ken Livingstone can now buy a Hebrew and English sticker that offers a message direct to him.

The ‘Say lo to Ken’ sticker takes the Hebrew word for ‘no’ which is ‘lo’ and costs £1 with 10 percent of the revenue going to an Israeli charity that helps disabled people take part in sport.

Already over 200 stickers have been sold from an initial print run of 1000.

“I’m sure Mr Livingstone’s parents never meant to give him a name which lends itself to a play on words in Hebrew,” said Mark Rivlin who runs Create Services, a design agency that counts Elite Tiles and the League Against Cruel Sports as clients.

Rivlin feels not enough is being done to curb the London Mayor and his various verbal attacks being made on members of the Jewish community which is why he decided to produce the stickers and let Jewish Londoners express how they feel.

Two weeks after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel should be wiped out the map, Livingstone told a UK Jewish publication that questioning the morality of Israel’s foundation was “a perfectly valid thing to say after so many wars.”

In February Livingstone was found guilty of bringing his office into disrepute for comparing a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard.

The Adjudication Panel of England, which hears complaints against local authorities, imposed a month suspension on Livingstone after a three-man panel ruled against him in a complaint brought by a Jewish group for his Nazi jibe.

A spokeswoman for the Adjudication Panel of England said the body, which hears complaints against local authorities, would decide what penalty to impose after a three-man panel ruled against Livingstone in a complaint brought by a Jewish group.

“Either we take it on the chin like the Board of Deputies and don’t do anything, or we stand up and say what we think about Livingstone. I wanted to see how much feeling there is in the community and judging by the responses I have been getting, I would say Mr Livingstone is about as popular as a Manchester United fan at Elland Road.



Egyptian police detain Al Jazeera television’s Cairo bureau chief
April 27, 2006

Egyptian police detained Al Jazeera television’s Cairo bureau chief, accusing him of spreading “false” information while reporting the Sinai bombings, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said Hussein Abdel Ghani had been taken in for questioning after reporting an explosion in the eastern Egyptian province of Sharkia on Wednesday, a report the ministry said was false and spread confusion.

“He said there were incidents in Sharkia and nothing happened. He’s spreading confusion,” the spokesman said.

“When he said there were was an explosion in Sharkia, leading everyone to ask about it, about something that didn’t happen, where did he get that from?” he added.

Al Jazeera said during its morning bulletin that police seized Hussein Abdel Ghani from his hotel in the budget resort of Dahab, where bomb attacks killed at least 18 people this week.

“The prosecutor ordered Hussein’s arrest pending investigations into charges of broadcasting false information which the authorities said was aimed at spreading chaos in the country,” the popular Arabic channel said on its Web site.

Al Jazeera has been banned from several Arab countries due to its hard-hitting – and sometimes controversial – coverage of events in a region accustomed to state-controlled media.

At least two of its correspondents are under arrest – the most prominent is Tayseer Alouni, who was convicted by a Spanish court of allegedly conspiring with Al-Qaida militants.



Israelis were warned to leave prior Dahab bombings
Tehran Times
April 30, 2006

Although no organization has yet taken responsibility for the terrorist attack in Dahab last week, Egyptian Interior Minister Habib el-Adly linked the bombings to similar attacks carried out in the same region last year and in 2004.

“The latest operations are linked to the previous attacks,” el-Adly told state television.

Recent attack in Egypt’s Sinai is the third in 18 months – one in the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh last July and Taba in October 2004, could not have come at a worst time for Egypt.

And while some analysts and officials suggest a possible link between Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network and the bombings, arguing that the attacks bore some of Al Qaeda’s hallmarks, others suggest that they appeared to be carried out by some home-grown ‘religious fanatics’.

On the other hand, some experts stated that they believe that Israel was behind the operation, referring to some reports saying that Israelis were advised to avoid Egypt prior the attacks.

Just a few weeks ago, Counter-Terrorism Bureau Head Danny Arditi issued a warning to Israelis to refrain from visiting any Arab country. Speaking to Ynet, Arditi claimed that “the warnings in our hands lead to small organizations affiliated with Al Qaeda in one way or another. A month ago we issued a travel warning to Israelis against traveling to Egypt, including Sinai, following ‘relatively reliable’ intelligence on intentions to carry out terror attacks against foreign and Israeli tourists.” On what basis did Israel issue such warning? And what was its intelligence sources?

“According to this report there were fears that a terror attack or an abduction of Israelis in Sinai could be carried out. We strongly advised Israeli citizens to avoid all visits in Sinai, and for Israelis staying in Sinai to leave immediately,” Arditi said. “I repeated the warning that Sinai is a dangerous place according to the information in our hands. Sinai is dangerous to tourists in general and to Israelis specifically. I call on everyone planning to travel to Sinai on Independence Day and in the near future not to do it and for Israelis in Sinai to return to Israel immediately.”

It’s noteworthy that the three terrorist attacks in the Sinai over the past 18 months all fell in days commemorating historic events.

On October 6, 2004, an attack on Taba that killed 30 people, came on the day Egypt and Syria launched the October (1973) War. On July 23, 2005, an attack on Sharm el-Sheikh coincided with Egypt’s Revolution Day, the celebration of the bloodless military coup led by Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser that toppled the monarchy.

Last week’s attacks that hit three separate targets almost simultaneously with the aim of causing as many deaths as possible, indicate that the operation couldn’t be by any means linked to Al Qaeda, Khaleej Times article suggested, arguing that, unlike previous attacks where mainstream media and officials accused Al Qaeda, this time the bombings were carried out using electronic timers and not “suicide bombers”.

And since no “suicide bombers” were used in the operation; with good police work and some luck, the attackers could be easily arrested; they are still around.



Q & A with The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger
By Faisal Abbas
Asharq Al-Awsat
April 29, 2006

(Excerpt only)

Q) What about the incident with your intern, Dilpazier Aslam, who was part of Hizb-u-Tahrir? There were rumors that Jonathan Freedland threatened to resign if the intern was not shown the door.

A) The difficulty [with this issue] is that this will be the subject of the employment tribunal. I can say that that is not true but I cannot comment on the details of the case, as it will be going to court.

Q) At the time he was hired, did the paper know he was part of Hizb-u-Tahrir?

A) In the public statement that we made at the time he left, we said that he did not tell us that he was a member of the organization, though the application form he filled in was completed fully about his social and political activities and did not mention it. At the time he was hired we did not know though he made no secret of it later.

Q) Was it his opinion piece that caused a stir?

A) It did cause a stir but that was not the reason behind his departure. It is on the public record that we said it would be very difficult for him to be a reporter and belong to this organization. A strong belief of mine and I am not talking about him now, is that it is important for the credibility of the newspaper or organization that reporting may be affected by your membership to an organization. If that comes into question, then a choice has to be made. Either, I’m first and foremost a journalist or I’m interested in politics and if your editor says to you these two roles are in danger or jeopardizing each other, then you have to make the choice and everybody is free to choose, but if you are going to be a reporter, you have to take account of the paper’s reputation. That is the general rule we operate and we stay true to that in this case. In terms of opinion, I think the Guardian has a broader range of Arab and Muslim opinions certainly more so than any other paper in Britain and possibly, in Europe. Therefore, the notion that we were suddenly surprised by the reaction to his piece is not true.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.