Adbusters Magazine Calls Hamas Terrorists “Freedom Fighters”

February 26, 2024

Adbusters, a Vancouver-based magazine, describes itself as “global collective of writers, artists, designers, musicians, poets, philosophers and punks,” positioning itself as an alternative voice for the masses.

But in its 171st edition entitled: “Terrorist or freedom fighter?” the magazine showed itself to be a promoter of murderous jihadist terrorism instead.

The front cover depicted various figures, including Mohandas Gandhi and Malcolm X, along with Yasser Arafat and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

The 100 page edition started off with a photo collage from Hamas’ October 7 massacre in southern Israel, depicting the terror group’s invasion, followed by quotes from Israeli and other politicians condemning Hamas.

Following the quotes, including one referring to Hamas’ mutilation and rapes, Adbusters referred to reports of Hamas brutality in Israel “fake news.”

On one page, in an entry written by Trevor Clarke, the author told the story of Nat Turner, an American slave in the 1800s who led a campaign which saw the killing of dozens of civilians, including children.

Clarke quoted an author from the period, and paraphrased him as saying “where it meets resistance, he argues, the path to freedom will be paved with bodies. Short of abolition, no amount of peace-pleading can stop the swell of righteous anger from spilling over.”

The comparison is obvious, as Clarke spelled out, cryptically ending his column by writing that “the debt of ages will have to wait another day.”

The Adbusters edition was replete with many other instances of run-of-the-mill anti-Israel propaganda, ranging from accusations of “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid” on Israel’s part, to references to Israel’s independence in 1948 as “the nakba,” the Arabic word for catastrophe, a commonly used term by anti-Israel activists which delegitimizes Israel’s very right to exist.

On another page, the magazine wrote that during apartheid-era South Africa, “many in the anti-apartheid movement saw no way forward through peaceful protest alone and decided on a path of armed resistance,” describing actions of “acts of sabotage against important military and industrial targets, planning their deeds to prevent harm to civilians.”

While Adbusters clearly meant to cite the case as a parallel to the Palestinians, the difference is stark: Hamas did not “prevent harm to civilians;” it deliberately targeted them.

Hamas did not invent Palestinian terrorism; it followed decades of such violence by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which targeted Israeli civilians for murder. Adbusters, for its part, referred to the PLO as “anti-colonial freedom struggles” (sic).

In one of his entries in the magazine, the publication’s founder, Kalle Lasn, made perhaps the most egregious comment in the entire edition, when he wrote: “Hamas, at heart, are freedom fighters. There, I said it. And now I’ll probably pay for it. Because there are boundaries around how we can talk about Oct. 7….but fuck it, I’ll say it anyway: They’re freedom fighters!”

Lasn later said: “what these young men actually did…was brutal and barbaric and in many cases impossible to defend,” but soon explained that their actions are the inevitable consequences of being “trapped like an animal.” In our view, this was an attempt at
justifying, rationalizing and excusing Palestinian terrorism against Israeli innocents.

But Lasn ended his screed by making his views clear: “So what do you do? You burst out of your cage with feral ferocity – you’re a barbaric terrorist yes, yes, yes – but fuck it, you’re a freedom fighter too.”

Other pages featured images with threats that are impossible to ignore, including a drawing of a woman wearing a keffiyeh (Arab scarf) and holding a rifle, underneath the caption: “Globalize the intifada,” referring to campaigns of Palestinian violence, and encouraging it to be exported worldwide.

Adbusters also referred to convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti as the “Palestinian Mandela,” as the publication has done in previous editions.

In fact, Adbusters has long flirted with the boundary between legitimate expression and overt hate speech, having given space to those calling Palestinian terrorism an “artistic project,” directly exhorting Palestinians to “plunge into a third intifada,” and more.

This is not the magazine’s first foray into repulsive content. It has previously denied Israel’s right to exist, and even peddled in explicitly antisemitic speech, including publishing a list of right-of-centre public policy voices under the headline: “Why won’t anyone say they are Jewish?” It has also compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto, where 500,000 Jews were imprisoned by Nazi Germany before they were murdered.

Adbusters has long peddled in fanatical anti-Israel propaganda, overt Jew-hatred, and even praise for Palestinian violence, and this newest edition continues that dangerous ideology by depicting Hamas terrorists as legitimate freedom fighters.


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