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May 17, 2010

Former PLO Ambassador Calls Arab Journalist 'Traitor'

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Abu Toameh: Accused of being a 'traitor' for reporting on Palestinian corruption and violence

The Australian reports that Ali Kazak, a former PLO Ambassador to Australia, has labeled Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh a "traitor" for reporting on Palestinian corruption and violence::

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.

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

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 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."

This is not the first time that Abu Toameh, who writes for the Jerusalem Post, was threatened for covering stories that the Palestinian Authority would prefer to remain quiet. The Israeli Arab journalist also covered a major Palestinian corruption scandal earlier this year which was largely ignored or downplayed by the Western media.

For more on Palestinian intimidation of the media, see here, here and here.

Posted by TS at May 17, 2010 03:12 AM

Comments

gee death threats from Arabs on each other for helping make peace with Israel- how unusual!
/sarc off

Posted by: Isaiah62 at May 18, 2010 04:13 PM

Dear Sir/Madam
It is regrettable that the reporter Rebecca Weisser, who was more arguing with me than interviewing me, misquoted me in her article “Journalist says only truth will set Palestine free” (the Australian, 15, May).
Out of about 45 minutes discussion she switched and altered what I said, to choose what suited her political line as her article clearly reveals.
I did not say that the Israeli propagandist Abu Toameh “shouldn’t write” about the Palestinians and corruption. To the contrary I said the Palestinian media is full of criticism of such things and I am myself critical of many things. But what I object to is the fact that Abu Toameh is working for the Israeli propaganda machine to spread its deceptions and lies in order to discredit the Palestinians in the eyes of their supporters and the international community.
This is why Israel and its lobby organise such speaking tours for him, not because they are interested in Palestinian interests and well-being.
Yours sincerely,
Ali Kazak
Former Palestinian ambassador and head of delegation

Posted by: Ali Kazak at May 20, 2010 10:33 AM

Ali Kazak's response shows that the PLO is continuing with its policy of double-talk.

Like other Arab dictatorships, the PLO has always been accusing reformists and critics of being Israeli propagandists. Then these folks are killed as "traitors."
The real traitors, Ali, are those who stole billions of dollars of international aid and who are imposing intimidation on reporters.

Linda Johnston

Posted by: Linda Johnston at May 22, 2010 10:22 AM

The PLO representative claims that the Palestinian media is full of criticism of corruption in the Palestinian government. Can he please point to one PLO-controlled newspaper in Ramallah that has written about corruption? Earlier this year, Tayeb Abdel Rahim, one of President Mahmoud Abbas's aides, issued instructions to the Palestinian newspapers banning them from reporting allegations of corruption made by the former head of the anti-corruption department in the Palestinian security forces.

It seems that Ali Kazak has been living too long in Australia and too far from his people to know what's really happening on the ground in Palestine.

Kazak wants Australians and Westerners to close their eyes and ears to others and to listen only to his and the PLO's lies and fabrications.

Thank God people like you are not running the show in Ramallah or Gaza. We have enough dictators and bigots here.

Posted by: Imad Muna at May 23, 2010 07:02 AM

Abu Toameh is a modern day hero in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Only in a dictatorship erected by the Palestinian Authority could he be branded a "traitor."

When the Palestinian Fatah organization decides to end autocratic rule and become a democracy, then will it respect freedom of speech and search for peace. Until then, sad to say, the former Palestinian ambassador to Australia will be no better than the Mafia.

Posted by: adam keller at May 23, 2010 04:04 PM

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