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January 14, 2015 5:40 pm

Palestinian Leader Two-Faced on Suppressing Satirists

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Hamas slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for attending the anti-terror rally in Paris. Photo: World Economic Forum. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas denounced as “heinous” the attack on French satirists who mocked Islam. That must have come as quite a surprise to the Palestinian satirist of Islam whom Abbas recently jailed, tortured, and forced to publicly recant.

The massacre of the staff of the Charlie Hebdo magazine was a “heinous crime, condemned by morality and religion,” Abbas declared in a telegram to French President Francois Hollande.

Abbas never uses such language when commenting on Palestinian terrorist attacks in which Israeli Jews are murdered. At the most, he’ll say that he is against “all terrorism.” Usually he’ll add a reference to “state terrorism,” which is his way of saying that whatever some Palestinian did, everything the Israelis do is worse.

Sometimes, Abbas’s “condemnations” are issued only in English, and don’t even appear in the Palestinian news media, which is where they are needed. Even when they do show up in the PA’s media, though, they come with a wink and a nod that Abbas’s followers understand.

Consider, for example, how Abbas’s condemnation of the Nov. 18 Jerusalem synagogue massacre was interpreted by Member of Parliament Najat Abu-Bakr, who is a representative of Abbas’s own Fatah movement. Abu-Bakr told Al-Quds Radio on Nov. 19, “The Palestinian president is forced to speak this way to the world and these statements result from his responsibility for the Palestinian people.” In other words: When he condemns killing Jews, don’t worry, he doesn’t really mean it—he’s just forced to say these things to the outside world.

But the real irony in Abbas’s condemnation of the attack on the French satirists, and his joining others in the Paris march, is to be found in his own brutal treatment of a Palestinian satirist.

A few years ago, Walid Husayin, a blogger who resides in the PA-ruled city of Kalkilya, made the mistake of “spoofing Koranic verses,” as the New York Times put it. On October 31, 2010, Palestinian Authority security men burst into the internet cafe that Husayin frequented and hauled him off to prison.

Article 37 of the PA’s Press Law forbids “articles and materials harmful to religion and doctrines guaranteed by law,” that is, “harmful” to Islam. That’s the “democratic” Palestinian justice system that American money and experts have helped create.

Husayin spent 10 months in a PA prison. One can only imagine what that was like. Finally, smarting from international criticism—not that there was very much of it—the Abbas regime released Husayin. But in the months to follow, he was repeatedly re-arrested and interrogated for days at a time. On one of those occasions, Husayin said, he was “beaten with cables” until he vomited blood, and “forced to stand in a painful position” for various periods. PA security men also smashed his computers and warned him to stop blogging.

Husayin got the message. He posted a public apology, begging forgiveness from the Muslim world for his “stupidity.”

Mahmoud Abbas’s condemnation of the Paris attacks rings hollow when one realizes that his words apply precisely to his own actions. The PA’s arrest, torture, and suppression of Walid Husayin for daring to spoof the Koran was a “heinous crime,” one that violates “morality and religion.” Why should American taxpayers’ dollars continue to be used to prop up his totalitarian regime?

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is a candidate on the Religious Zionist slate ( in the World Zionist Congress elections.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Lynne T

    The only person(s) Abbas stands in solidarity with are himself and his close circle of family and friends. For him and his fellow despots who were also there (Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey all sent reps), there is no media freedom, other than the freedom to repeat what the ruling elite dictate to them, which, coincidentally includes a lot of antisemetism.

  • A short synopsis of Jewish History and the Arab Israeli conflict

    Jews have the absolute right for their homeland. Zionism the movement itself was created during the second half the 1800″²s. Jews purchased a substantial amount of territories in Palestine-Israel (see testimony of the Mufti of Jerusalem in front of the British Peel Commission) from local sheikhs and lords and built settlements there. This dates as early as 1860, that is 79 years before WWII.
    During all of this time Jews kept migrating back to their historic homeland which comprised of two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. They were driven out of the Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in 720, B.C.E. The Babylonians in 586, B.C.E., drove the Jews out of the Kingdom of Judah, including Jerusalem. Then followed the Persians in 536, and the Hellenistic Syrian Seleucid Rulers in 332 BCE. Jews – The Maccabees re-conquered Israel in 166 BCE.
    Romans conquered Israel in 63 C.E., and in 70 A.D. destroyed the Jewish second Temple.
    Which was followed by these conquests:
    Byzantines in 313; Persian in 614; Arabs Muslims 636 CE; Crusaders 1099; and the Mamluks in 1291.
    Then came the Ottoman Empire in 1517. In 1564 the Ottoman Empire encouraged and stimulated Jewish immigration which added over 10,000 new Jewish returnees to Palestine-Israel (The Ottoman land records for Palestine showed that the government owned over 90% of the land) and the British Rule 1918-1948.
    During the time of the Roman rule of Israel, the Jews in the kingdom called Judea revolted against the Roman rule. The Romans crushed the rebellion, exiled many Jews out of the country, seized many others and turned them into slaves deporting them to Rome and other places. Not only that, they changed the name of the land from Provincia Judea to Palestine to humiliate the Jews.
    For 600 years or so, Arab Muslims imperialism spread throughout the Middle East from Arabia. Among other conquests, the Arabs conquered Judea-Palestine, killing many of the local Jewish population, and converting many into Islam. The story of how the Arabs got to Palestine is the story of conquest, imperialism and occupation.
    During the 19th and 20th century, when Arabs had little to no interest in the land of Israel, Jews bought massive amounts of land and resettled there. After WWI the Allied Powers, the international community and the League of Nations under the San Remo Treaty of 1920 assigned the British “The Mandate for Palestine” as trustee over the land so that a Jewish state would be created in that land. The British had their own agenda in mind.
    The original Mandate territory included what is today Israel; Gaza, Parts of Sinai, West Bank (Judea and Samaria), Jordan and the Golan Heights. The British had their own agenda and divided the country up. They gave to the Arabs the allocated land which had been Mandated to the Jewish people in violation of the San Remo Treaty of 1920: everything East of the Jordan river. This land which was intentionally given to the Arabs constituted 80% of the land allocated to the Jewish people. The British gave the land to the Hashemite Kingdom for the Arab population in order to create a new State: Trans-Jordan. The British also traded the Golan Heights to the French who ruled Syria for oil in Iraq. Thus, after already separating the country into one Arab state Trans-Jordan, which is present day Jordan, they intended to break up the remaining Jewish land West of the Jordan River, present day Israel and wrongfully give it to the Arabs.

    In the meanwhile a conflict emerged over territorial boundaries between the Jewish inhabitants and the Arabs. The U.N. proposed a deal to split the remaining land of the British Mandate for Palestine (yes, split yet again) into an Arab state and a Jewish state. The Jewish leadership accepted the proposal, provided the Arabs also accept it. The Arabs declined. Thus the 1948 war began. A war in which the Arabs with armies from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and local militias of Arabs, and help on a smaller scale from the armies of Algeria and Libya attacked the new Jewish entity. The Arab coalition had the weapons and a large army and were confident on victory, to the extent, that they asked the local Arab inhabitants to vacate the land while they decimated the Jews. But fate had other plans. Through divine intervention, the Arabs lost that war. Many Arab civilians fled their homes because their Arab leadership told them to. Some were panicked by rumors. There were only a few incidents with civilians. (It is an important fact that during the war of 1948, Jewish settlements that were seized by Arab forces were razed to the ground – Kfar Etzion for example and the remaining population there killed).
    The true and detailed facts and history is much more voluminous and complex. The problem Israel faces is that it is not as quick to explain the 4000+ years of Jewish history in Israel to counter the Arab lies and propaganda. Lies are easier to spread. However, upon close examination of the historical facts, the lies are exposed as baseless propaganda and should be dismissed as such.
    It should be noted only a small segment of history is being presented here. I did not enumerate anything about how Arabs used terror and violence since the beginning of the conflict. I did not mention that before Arab nationalism and Muslim radicalism took over, the small Arab community was glad that the Jews were coming back to their ancestral homeland, providing an economic boost and jobs to the region, (even king Faisal was delighted.) I did not enumerate or discuss in detail the Arab-Palestinian refugees without telling how and why they became refugees.
    I might also mention that the Arab countries expelled over a million Jewish people, confiscated their assets, businesses, homes and land (120,000 sq. km. which is five times the size of Israel and valued in the trillions of dollars). About 650,000 of those Jewish refugees from Arab countries were resettled in Greater Israel. It is time for the Arab countries who expelled the million Jewish people to resettle the Arab-Palestinian refugees in their own countries, and or Jordan, and put an end to this conflict and end the misery and displacement of the Arab Palestinians. This will bring about peace and coexistence which the people so rightfully desire and deserve. It will bring economic prosperity and an increase in the standard of living for all the people.
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    YJ Draiman

    • Barry Panensky

      BRAVO !

  • Alan Kennedy

    Love the consistency?

  • Fred

    A master in international hypocrisy. Abbas the doyen.

  • All I can say is Abbas was in Paris because the French consider Palestine should be a state. PR for himself that was all. Let us hope France now understands what Israel is up against every day. Condemning one of his own to prison for speaking out about the horrors of extreme Islam which Abbas backs, is a clear example of a double tongued liar.