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Monday, May 17, 2010

Can 'Palestinians' handle truth?

The Australian reports on the controversy arising out of Khaled Abu Toameh's visit to Australia. Not all of the local 'Palestinians' are happy that he's there.
Ali Kazak, a former ambassador for the Palestine Liberation Organisation, circulated an email this week accusing Abu Toameh of being an "Israeli propagandist" on the "Israeli payroll" and warning people not to be misled by him.

Kazak told The Australian: "Khaled Abu Toameh is a traitor." These are dangerous words in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Kazak admits that many Palestinians are murdered in the West Bank and Gaza for being traitors.

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He says he doesn't agree with it but: "Traitors were also murdered by the French Resistance, in Europe; this happens everywhere."

Asked why he calls Abu Toameh a traitor, Kazak says: "Palestinians are the victims. He shouldn't write about them, he should write about the crimes of the Israelis."

Kazak admits there is corruption and violence in the West Bank and Gaza. "Of course, Palestinian society isn't perfect. I myself have criticised it," he says. But Kazak objects to Abu Toameh writing about it.

Toameh responds: "It is absurd that this gentleman is calling me a traitor while the PLO whom he claims to represent is conducting security co-ordination with Israel and helping Israel crack down on Hamas and is even imprisoning Palestinians without trial in the West Bank.

"When I write about corruption and bad government in Palestine it's because I care about the people and not because I support the occupation.

"I'm more pro-Palestinian than Mr Kazak because I'm demanding reform and democracy and good government for my people while he is sitting here in the comfort of Australia, preaching to us what's good and what's bad and spewing hatred.

"I don't receive threats from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. I receive threats from people like Mr Kazak. When he calls me a traitor he is actually sending a message to extremists that they need to kill me simply because I am demanding reform and democracy.

"Hamas, Fatah, they know I am writing the truth. They just say to me, 'Why do you have to air the dirty linen in public?' "

But he refuses to be silent, saying he does more for Palestinian human rights and freedom of speech than Kazak, and that Palestinians in the diaspora who live cut off from the reality of life in the West Bank and Gaza do nothing to help Palestinians.

"They live in a parallel universe of leftist, radical ideology. They are much more hostile towards me than Palestinians living in Gaza or Ramallah."
There's much more - read the whole thing.

As far as I am aware, Abu Toameh is only published in English and not in Arabic. I doubt that Hamas and Fatah officials would be so willing to talk to him if he were publishing his articles about them in Arabic. And that answers the question that I asked in the title of this post. No, most 'Palestinians' cannot handle the truth - or at least their leaders cannot.


At 10:13 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

If all the Palestinians where like Khaled Abu Toameh, there would be have been peace long time ago.

As he points out, as long as the Palestinians blame the Jews for all their problems and never look at themselves they will never be truly be happy and peace will remain a distant dream.


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