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The Palestinians’ Worst Enemy Is Their Own Leaders: Corruption and repressive systems – Herland Report

The Palestinians’ Worst Enemy Is Their Own Leaders: Corruption and repressive systems – Herland Report

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Once in a very rare while, Western journalists address the massive problem in the Middle East pertaining to corruption and repression of free speech in the Arab world.

This week, Human Rights Watch released a report on Gaza leaders and the report shows widespread abuse.  The two-year investigation included interviews with nearly 150 people, many of them ex-detainees.

It accused both the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Islamic militant Hamas in Gaza of using “machineries of repression” to stifle criticism. And this is no news to anyone used to the region. The examples are – in its routine – all over the place.

The Jamal Khashoggi case, the Washington Post journalist with close ties to the Saudi royals, illustrates the problem in Saudi, is but one example of the widespread problem in country after country in the region.

The push to open the stage for Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, partly derives from – and this few seem to recall – the push to squash the Saudi Wahhabi clerics strong influence on the country, as indicated by Al Jazeera in January, 2018. Naturally Erdogan, who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood link, would enjoy pulling the Crown Prince’s efforts to the ground, and it was an easy task.

Yet, the problem of repression is rampant from Syria to Libya to Iraq, national unity chronically hindered by questions of “who pays who” in seemingly endless stories of corruption. This is why it becomes so easy for Western forces to meddle into the autocratic systems of the Mid Eastern affairs, as so many are dead tired of precisely the corruption and lack of freedom in their own countries.

Of course, everyone blames the West for neo-colonialism and correctly so, but it should be time sometime soon for Arab leaders’ accountability too? The world is not black and white. Why offer your country to the wolves again and again?

 

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Gaza. Photo: FreeMalaysiaToday.com

Racist Leftists refuse to demand accountability

Where does the Gaza billions in aid go? Hardly anybody in the West asks the question. They cannot, of course, because it goes against the Leftwing narrative that one should always “feel sorry for” those who do not come from the West, instead of demanding accountability. We all know this is the narrative, the very opposite in the age of New World Order, to the traditional value of equality regardless of race, creed or ethnic origin.

No need to mention the innate racism in such a statement. None the less, this is the racist ideology in the Progressive West. Addressing Arab corruption remains a no-go.

Billionaire Yasir Arafat: Where did all the money go?

We all remember very well how Yasir Arafat died a billionaire, according to Forbes, yet the Western media has not exactly been willing to examine how the billions were spent. Except stating there was abuse. 

The estimated international aid controlled by Arafat amounted to around USD 5.5 billion since 1994,  and he seems to have overseen all disbursements, according to Forbes.

It sure did not go to the streets of Gaza or Jericho – evident to everyone who has visited the area. No hospitals built, no schools, hardly any roads, houses not rebuilt after Israeli strikes? The money seems to have evaporated into thin air.

Those of us who travel much in this region are used to the local complaints in Gaza and the West Bank over the corruption in the Palestinian Authority, while Bethlehem and other cities look like a rubble of dirt. Many I have spoken to, did not even vote during the last election, stating that they knew whoever won, would be the next recipient of the millions that should have built Gaza or the West Bank. Something definitely does not add up.

Time Magazine writes:

For years Investigators have followed Arafat’s money trail for years in order to find out how the billions donated to the Palestinian cause have been spent. The web seems to be quite intricate – as it usually is in the Middle East. Everyone keeps quiet about who got what. Looking at the streets of Gaza, it is, nonetheless, horribly evident that little went to build up what was needed for the Palestinians who live there. Alas the irony that nobody talks about. Yet, speaking with regular Palestinians, the lamentations about the Palestinian Authority corruption is rampant.

Although many details of Arafat’s financial dealings remain murky, the evidence suggests that by his death, the Palestinian leader had squandered much of the fortune he had built in the name of his people.

Photo: AP.

Human Rights Watch report again show Gaza authorities’ repression

There’s a rule of thumb for journalists reporting on the Palestinians: If it can’t be blamed on Israel, it isn’t news. But some rules demand to be broken, writes Elliot Kaufman in Wall Street Journal. 

The report showed that Palestinian security forces routinely use torture and arbitrary arrests to quench free speech and peaceful activists, Human Rights Watch said, according to FOX. We assume this report will quietly be swept under the mainstream media rug of silence.

Human Rights Watch also said the systematic use of torture could amount to a crime against humanity under the United Nations’ Convention against Torture. “Palestinian authorities have gained only limited power in the West Bank and Gaza, but yet, where they have autonomy, they have developed parallel police states,” said Tom Porteous, deputy program director at Human Rights Watch. “Calls by Palestinian officials to safeguard Palestinian rights ring hollow as they crush dissent.” According to HRW, the Palestinian leaderships in the West Bank and Gaza engage in similar tactics, in most cases without holding anyone to account.

The notorious repression and push to silence both political opposition as well as ideologically motivated differences of beliefs are allegedly met with: Whipping people’s feet, forcing detainees into painful stress positions, hoisting up people’s arms behind their backs with rope and coercing suspects into granting access to their mobile phones and social media accounts. Both Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority – in its routine – denied the accusations.

Despite having Western backing, Abbas has also silenced dissent in the areas of the West Bank he administers under past agreements with Israel. Last year, he clamped down on social media and news websites with a vaguely worded decree that critics say allows his government to jail anyone on charges of harming “national unity” or the “social fabric.” Abbas’ security forces also work closely with Israel to keep Hamas in check in the West Bank. Critics accuse Israel of holding Palestinian detainees without charge for extended periods and also of torture. HRW also highlights tactics used to silence Palestinian dissent and punish activists, among them the seizing of phones, leaving investigations and charges open, and coercing detainees to promise to stop any further criticism.

The Human Rights Watch pushed for the International Criminal Court to check on both Israeli and Palestinian conduct. This could definitely be a good idea.

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