Why Doesn't the EU Condemn Palestinian Torture?
More than half the 306 complaints about torture last year came from Palestinians who had been detained or imprisoned by Abbas's security forces in the West Bank; 11 detainees died in Palestinian Authority and Hamas prisons according to a report by the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights.
The EU has refrained from condemning the Palestinian Authority or Hamas in wake of a report that pointed to an increase in human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
This is the same EU that regularly condemns Israel for building in the settlements or seizing funds belonging to the Palestinian Authority.
More recently, the EU condemned Israel for demolishing 22 Palestinian structures in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
But when it comes to human rights violations committed by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, the EU is prepared to do its utmost to avoid angering the two Palestinian governments.
In response to the report, which was released by the Palestinian Independent Commission For Human Rights, the EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah, in an apologetic tone, only expressed "concern" over recurrent cases of torture and ill treatment of detainees in Palestinian prisons.
And instead of criticizing or condemning Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for human rights violations perpetrated by his security forces, the EU missions chose to "welcome" his instruction to respect the prohibition of torture in his detention centers and prisons.
It is worth noting that the EU and some Abbas loyalists, including Fatah propagandists and media outlets, were the only ones to "welcome" his decision to ban torture.
So not only is Abbas not condemned for the death of two detainees in his prisons and the crackdown on freedoms of speech and the media, he is in fact being praised by the EU for ordering his security and intelligence officers to stop torturing Palestinians.
One would have expected the EU to take a tougher stance toward the Palestinian Authority and Hamas human rights violations, as indicated by the report.
But the EU missions to Ramallah and Jerusalem are apparently reluctant to take such a position because of their direct and indirect involvement in funding and supporting the Palestinian Authority and various Palestinian institutions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The EU also seems to be afraid of criticizing the Palestinian Authority and Hamas out of concern for the safety of its representatives, especially those who operate in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
As the human rights group's report shows, there has been a 10% increase in the number of complaints of torture and mistreatment by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority during 2012 compared with the year before.
More than half of the 306 complaints about torture that were received last year came from Palestinians who had been detained or imprisoned by Abbas's security forces in the West Bank, the report revealed.
Altogether, 11 detainees died in Palestinian Authority and Hamas prisons last year, according to the report.
Still, the EU did not see any need to refer to these cases. Nor did the EU comment on the report's accusations that Abbas's security forces are continuing to crack down on journalists and academics and ignore court rulings.
Expressing "concern" over serious human rights violations will not deter the Palestinian Authority or Hamas from pursuing their anti-democratic practices against their own people.
Praising Abbas for instructing his security forces to stop torturing Palestinian detainees is like welcoming a convicted armed robber's promise to retire.
Reader comments on this item
|Two Words [42 words]||The Empress||May 31, 2013 11:15|
|Torture [26 words]||Steven L.||May 26, 2013 17:26|
|EU tell the truth - God forbid it would kill them [54 words]||Ruth||May 24, 2013 12:44|
|Torture [63 words]||Vivienne||May 24, 2013 12:36|
Comment on this item
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Soeren Kern
Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam and as a central hub for European jihadists to fight in Syria.
The proposed revisions would, among other changes, regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran to prevent its "misinterpretation" by Islamic extremists.
Muslims would be prohibited from citing Islamic sharia law as legal justification for ignoring or disobeying Austrian civil laws.
Leaders of Austria's Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to "institutionalized Islamophobia."
Official statistics show that nearly 60% of the inhabitants of Vienna are immigrants or foreigners. The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible.
by Samuel Westrop
Over 800 Iranians were executed during President Rouhani's first year in office.
Leading politicians, British government officials and businessmen nevertheless seemed happy to attend and speak at the Europe-Iran Forum.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
The "Arab Spring" did not erupt as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather, it was the outcome of decades of tyranny and corruption in the Arab world. The Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and Yemenis who removed their dictators from power did not do so because of the lack of a "two-state solution." This is the last thing they had in mind.
The thousands of Muslims who are volunteering to join the Islamic State [IS] are not doing so because they are frustrated with the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The only solution the Islamic State believes in is a Sunni Islamic Caliphate where the surviving non-Muslims who are not massacred would be subject to sharia law.
What Kerry perhaps does not know is that the Islamic State is not interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all. Unlike Kerry, Sunni scholars fully understand that the Islamic State has more to do with Islam and terrorism than with any other conflict.
by Steven J. Rosen
Palestinian officials have generally been silent about security cooperation with Israel. They are loath to acknowledge how important it is for the survival of the Palestinian Authority [PA], and fear that critics, especially Hamas, will consider it "collaboration with the enemy."
"You smuggle weapons, explosives and cash to the West Bank, not for the fight with Israel, but for a coup against the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli intelligence chief visited me two weeks ago and told me about the [Hamas] group they arrested that was planning for a coup... We have a national unity government and you are thinking about a coup against me." — Mahmoud Abbas, PA President, to Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader.
According to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, if the IDF leaves the West Bank, Hamas will take over, and other terrorists groups such as the Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Islamic State would operate there.
In recent months, Abbas has been making a series of threats against Israel. If Abbas becomes another Arafat, it could be the Israeli side that loses interest in security cooperation.