Thursday, March 28, 2013

Palestinian journalist jailed for 'insulting' Abbas

Mike L.

Journalist gets one year sentence after sharing photo comparing Abbas's face to a villain on a Syrian TV show.

Palestinian journalist Mamdouh Hamamreh from Bethlehem was sentenced on Thursday to one year in prison for “insulting” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook.

He is the second Palestinian to be sentenced to prison for one year on the same charges since the beginning of the year. for “insulting” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook.

Hamamreh, who works for the Palestinian Al-Quds TV station, was found guilty of sharing a photo on Facebook that compared Abbas with a villain who played the role of a French spy in a popular Syrian TV series.
Those who call for a single democratic state between the river and the sea with equal rights for all always seem to ignore the fact that there is nothing within Arab political culture to suggest that what the Arab-Muslim world wants is democracy.

They don't want democracy.

From a political standpoint the Arab world tends to be theocratic and authoritarian.  Mahmoud Abbas is a dictator, not a president as we generally understand that word in the west.  Palestinian-Arab political culture is not so different, if it is any different, from Arab political culture more generally.  Its defining feature is that of coercion and force.  When well-meaning westerners talk about a single democratic state they are asking the Jewish people, who are among the most persecuted people in recorded history, to place their fate in the hands of a majority population who do not share our values and who have continually harassed Jews for the last fourteen centuries.

This is why we will not go for these utopian dreams.  They sound nice on paper, but we do not live life on paper.

Mahmoud Abbas is sending a journalist from Bethlehem, Mamdouh Hamamreh, to one year in prison merely for the picture above.  Whatever criticisms that anyone may have concerning Israel, it would never put a journalist in prison for mocking Benjamin Netanyahu.  One of the major problems that we have in the ongoing Arab-Israel conversation in the west is the tendency among some to advance a narrative of moral equivalency.  One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, we sometimes hear.

I wonder if Chuck Hagel doesn't believe that?

But there is no moral equivalency between the Palestinian-Arabs and the Palestinian-Jews.  The Jews of the Middle East are a persecuted minority who remain under intense pressure from their Arab persecutors.  Following 1948 they were driven from their homes and robbed of their possessions all throughout the Arab world.  From the seventh century until the end of World War I they were second and third class citizens under the system of slavery known as dhimmitude.  Although in some places it was better and in some places it was worse, dhimmitude was never better than was the American system of Jim Crow at its worst.

Nonetheless, millions upon millions of well-meaning westerners would like to see the Jews of the Middle East place themselves under the tender mercies of their long-standing persecutors within a single democratic state.  I would not have a problem with that if I thought for one moment that the Arabs favor democracy and human rights, but they don't favor democracy and human rights.  What they favor is power politics and Sharia and we are simply not going to allow ourselves to go back into living under those conditions.  You cannot ask a people who have lived under persecution for fourteen centuries to simply have faith that their former masters will treat them fairly.

Furthermore, the Palestinian-Arabs can have a state carved out of historically Jewish land if they would accept such a state in peace next to the Jewish people.  If they cannot bring themselves to make such a terrible compromise then, I am sorry, but they get nothing.

Or, actually, they don't get nothing, now do they?

500 million is most certainly not nothing and yet they still won't stop inciting genocidal hatred toward Jews.


  1. Yes, but put yourself in his shoes, Mike.

    Being dictator Abbas means never having to say you're sorry.

    (so why not?)

    1. Y'know, I think that I preferred Arafat.

      He, at least, didn't pretend to be anything other than what he was.

    2. I guess it was maybe even a mistake to assassinate him with those diabolical Zionist parakeets, then, eh?

    3. For some reason the results of the autopsy have not made the major papers.

      I wonder why?

    4. State secrets. Don't worry, though. That's certainly still considered 'progressive' to some.


      Kinda like those Egyptian 'Free Speech Zones' you just noted, I'd bet. I'm sure those are acceptable, too, as long as they come from authoritarian on the 'correct' side of the political aisle...

    5. I have to take this back:

      He, at least, didn't pretend to be anything other than what he was.

      This is false and I should not have said it.

      Arafat pretended to be a rebel in the service of social justice and thus was nothing like what he pretended to be.

      What he actually was an anti-Semitic fascist and a murderer.

      My apologies.

    6. Very true.

      And Abbas is the very same thing, only in a suit rather than an ill-fitting, certainly calculatedly-homely (the hundreds of millions Arafat stole certainly weren't spent on clothes - at least Abbas bought a few nice suits with his plundered wealth) military uniform...

  2. Abu Mazen is a chain smoking old man. He'll be dead soon and there will be a mini-civil war to replace him.