West Bank: What the West is Funding
Harb said that the decision to summon him for questioning was in the context of the Palestinian Authority leadership's campaign to intimidate Palestinian writers and journalists and stop them from discussing internal issues. International human rights groups and countries that fund and support Abbas's authority have yet to sound their voices. Failing to hold the Palestinian Authority accountable will only drive more Palestinians into the arms of Hamas and other radical forces.
The Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank has come up with a new method to silence its Palestinian critics.
From now on, any Palestinian writer or journalist who dares to criticize Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his policies or demand an end to corruption will be accused of "belittling the dignity of the state."
Since the beginning of this year, at least 10 Palestinian journalists, bloggers and political opponents have been detained by various Palestinian Authority security services for writing about corruption and criticizing the Palestinian leadership.
Until recently, the Palestinian Authority, which is funded by the US and EU, used to throw its critics into prison.
But following condemnations from Palestinian and international human rights organizations, the Palestinian Authority decided to resort to a new method to silence its critics - this time by accusing them of "belittling the dignity" of a non-existent Palestinian state.
This charge is based on a 1960 Jordanian law still effective in the West Bank. Although the Palestinian Authority has its own laws, to achieve its goals it does not hesitate every now and then to resort to Jordanian laws.
But as the case of Jihad Harb shows, Abbas and his aides are more concerned about their own dignity than that of the imaginary state.
Harb, a Palestinian writer and political analyst, was summoned this week for interrogation by the Palestinian security forces in Ramallah and charged, on the basis of the Jordanian law, with "belittling the dignity of the state."
Harb was told that the director of Abbas's office had lodged a complaint against him for libel and slander because of an article criticizing Abbas's policy of promoting public employees.
Entitled "Presidential Decisions Are Made In A Coffee Shop," Harb's article criticized Abbas's decision to promote more than 500 civil servants over the past five years -- noting that many of them were unfit to serve in their jobs.
Before he was summoned for interrogation, Harb received threats from from top Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah that he would be punished for hanging the dirty laundry in public.
The officials told the writer that he may would face trial for criticizing Abbas at a time when the US and Israel are "waging a fierce campaign" against the Palestinian Authority president because of his insistence on pursuing his request for membership in the UN.
Harb said that the decision to summon him for questioning was in the context of the Palestinian Authority leadership's campaign to intimidate Palestinian writers and journalists and stop them from discussing internal issues.
Harb added that the decision was also in violation of Abbas's recent statement that the "sky was the limit for freedom of expression" in the West Bank.
Palestinian writers and human rights groups have, meanwhile, expressed deep concern over the Palestinian Authority's crackdown on freedom of expression in the West Bank.
International human rights groups, however, and countries that fund and support Abbas's authority have yet to sound their voices.
Many Palestinian writers and journalists in the West Bank today live in fear of being harassed by the Palestinian Authority because of their views and writings. Some practice self-censorship, while others are writing under different names or have found themselves new and less dangerous professions.
There is no reason why those who are pouring millions of dollars on the Palestinian Authority should not demand an end to suppression of freedom of expression and the growing clampdown on writers and journalists in the West Bank.
Failing to hold the Palestinian Authority accountable for its actions will only drive more Palestinians into the arms of Hamas and the other radical forces.
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by Khaled Abu Toameh
"Armed robbery in broad daylight." — Palestinians, after Hamas "seized" $750,000 from Gaza bank.
Fatah accused Hamas of "squandering" $700 million of financial aid earmarked for the Palestinian victims of war. Fatah wants to ensure that the millions of dollars intended for the Gaza Strip will pass through its hands and not end up in Hamas's bank accounts. Relying on Fatah in this regard is like asking a cat to guard the milk.
The head of the Palestinian Authority's Anti-Corruption Commission revealed that his group has retrieved $70 million of public funds fund embezzled by Palestinian officials. Arab and Western donors need to make sure that their money does not end up (once again) in the wrong hands. Without a proper mechanism of accountability and transparency, hundreds of millions of dollars are likely to find their way into the bank accounts of both Hamas and Fatah leaders.
by Mudar Zahran
"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.
"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.
"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.
"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student
"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.
"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.
by Ben Cohen
Now, with the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate having captured key oil wells in the Middle East this year, foreign oil has become an even more lethal financial weapon-of-choice for those seeking to destroy democracy and further escalate the War on Terror.
That President Barack Obama failed even to mention oil as a critical factor in the war against IS during his speech to the nation on September 10, is an omission both revealing and dangerous in terms of how his administration wants to depict the stakes involved in this latest confrontation with the jihadis.
by Lawrence A. Franklin
One Pakistani recruiter of child suicide bombers describes these children as "tools provided by God."
Another Muslim cleric in a madrassa [Islamic boys' school] describes child suicide bombers as "a gift from Allah that we have an unlimited number willing to be sacrificed to teach Americans a lesson."
Using children as suicide bombers will stop when... they stop "condoning the killing of innocents."
by Denis MacEoin
"No religion condones the killing of innocents." — U.S. President Barack Obama, September 10, 2014.
"Islam is a religion of peace." — U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, September 13, 2014.
"There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam." — U.K. Imam Anjem Choudary, CBN News, April 5, 2010.
Regrettably it is impossible to re-interpret the Qur'an in a "moderate" manner. The most famous modern interpretation by Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, leads the reader again and again into political territory, where jihad is at the root of action.
If they deviated from the true faith -- as we are seeing in the Islamic State today -- "backsliders," like pagans, were to be fought until they either accepted Islam or were killed.
In India alone, between 60 and 80 million Hindus may have been put to death by Muslim armies between the years 1000-1525.