Jul 10 2013
I have sometimes received death threats from Arab, Western and Israeli security services. The Zionist lobby in Europe and the US has waged a fierce battle against me and now I am unable to visit the US. This lobby has worked hard to defame me and silence my voice by preventing my appearances on television and my words being printed in British opinion columns. My talks and lectures at world famous universities have been targetted by propagandists and sometimes prevented from happening at all.
One of the Israeli press attaches even boasted once in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle that one of his main achievements in London was reducing my appearances on famous channels such as CNN, BBC and Sky News as an expert on Middle Eastern affairs. This is the only badge of honor I have received in my life.
I was subjected to smear campaigns by other Arabs and one Arab intelligence service managed to produce a photograph of our 'newspaper's HQ' which was a huge skyscraper. Distinguished visitors – among them Ministers, politicans and famous journalists – have always been amazed to enter our humble suite of offices which is not much bigger than an average apartment.
When the great Palestinian poet, Mahmud Darwish, came to see me he was shocked and said he couldn't believe his 'favourite newspaper issued from a small cave'. I was delighted when he added, 'But you are not Cavemen but the bearers of the most civilized message!'
I admit that I worked hard, and sometimes made mistakes; but I learned from my mistakes and apologize without shame. No one has a monopoly on truth, and every issue can be seen from many different perspectives. We were always careful to allow these different voices to be heard so long as they were not insulting or accusatory.
I have never known anything other than journalism and have refused all offers of 'going into business. For me, the press is the most fulfilling and prestigious of all the professions and if I had to live my life all over again I would choose the same career.