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.
Comment on this item
by Soeren Kern
Hamas would likely resort to violence to thwart any attempts to disarm the group. It is therefore highly unlikely the Europeans would confront Hamas in any meaningful way.
Spanish intelligence agents met secretly with Hezbollah operatives, who agreed to provide "escorts" to protect Spanish UNIFIL patrols. The quid pro quo was that Spanish troops would look the other way while Hezbollah was allowed to rearm for its next war with Israel. Hezbollah's message to Spain was: mind your own business.
If the European experience with Hezbollah in Lebanon is any indication, not only will Hamas not be disarmed, it will be rearmed as European monitors look on and do nothing.
What is clear is that European leaders have never been committed to honoring either the letter or the spirit of UN Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, all of which were aimed at preventing Hezbollah from rearming.
by Debalina Ghoshal
According to former Bush administration official Stephen Rademaker, for the United States to respond to Russian violations of the treaty by pulling out of it would be "welcome in Moscow," which is "wrestling with the question of how they terminate [the treaty]" and thus, the United States should not make it easier for the Russians to leave.
by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.