Palestine's Missing Critics
Israel's harshest critics claim to champion the rights of Palestinians. So we're curious about the fallout, or lack thereof, from revelations that the Palestinian Authority regularly brutalizes its own in the West Bank while enjoying a steady flow of dollars and euros.
Senior PA official Haitham Arar was quoted in the Daily Mail more than a week ago openly discussing the abuses. That follows a Mail On Sunday report in January that detailed the Authority's regular use of beatings, whippings, attacks with electrical drills, and other methods of torture doled out to anyone seen threatening the authority of Fatah, the party of President Mahmoud Abbas. Murder and rape are also commonplace.
As Middle East analyst Tom Gross points out, the only news here is that a Western newspaper has bothered to write about it. At least some ink is spilled documenting Hamas's blunt methods, but much less has been made of Fatah's abuses since Yasser Arafat took over most of the territory in 1993. What's more, Western governments support the internecine violence with ever-increasing aid. As of Sept. 15, the European Union had delivered €268 million to the Authority this year, and in July the U.S. extended an additional $200 million.
The money will not stop now that Ramallah is no longer trying to hide the mistreatment. Westminster's one response has been to quietly send officers to the West Bank to train Authority forces on how not to torture prisoners.
So here's the state-of-play in the department of moral outrage. When Britain is accused of abetting U.S. interrogations, lawsuits, investigations, and threats to try Tony Blair for war crimes quickly follow. When Israel attacks Hamas in order to end rocket launches on its soil, it risks a session before the International Criminal Court. But when the West funnels billions to a Palestinian government whose abuses are brazen and ongoing, there is mainly silence.
Comment on this item
by Salim Mansur
What we are witnessing is Israel engaged in a struggle against Hamas, against Palestinians, against Arabs, against Muslims, and against an expanding body of opinion in the West that is less and less inhibited from displaying the rancid anti-Semitism behind its support for those who openly call for another Holocaust for the Jews.
Gaza was returned to the Palestinians in 2005 as a test for building trust.
This verse [31:27 ] means that no one Muslim should claim that he has a monopoly over the reading of the Quran, for that would amount to reducing the majesty of God to the smallness of man.
The sound of battle is louder than the call to prayer.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Evidently Abbas has reached the conclusion that unless he hurries up and declares his support for the Palestinian "resistance" in the Gaza Strip, his people will march on his office and force him to quit. Abbas's fear of a revolt has driven him into the open arms of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Another reason for the unexpected change in Abbas's policy might be the promise of financial aid he received from Qatar -- an enemy of Egypt's al-Sisi, but the largest funder of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
Abbas know that if he wants to survive, he will have to be on the side of the radicals.
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Lawrence A. Franklin
There is no change in U.S policy toward Israel that will win any true allies in the Middle East, despite what Arab leaders claim. They often assert that if only we would solve the Palestinian-Israeli problem first, relations would improve. This is a tactic. These leaders employ it simply to divert Western officials from making demands on them, instead of on Israel. The reality is that most Arabs view the U.S., its European allies and Israel with ineradicable contempt.
by Alan M. Dershowitz