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March 02, 2016

North Korean Leaders are ‘Devoted to Freedom,’ Palestinian Official Says

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Kim Jong Il


The Palestinian Authority (PA) ambassador to North Korea has offered effusive words of praise for the brutal dictatorship that rules the country.

Elder of Ziyon, an American blogger who researches and writes about antisemitism and the Arab-Israeli conflict, reports that Ambassador Ismail Ahmed Mohamed Hasan hosted a reception at the PA embassy in Pyongyang, North Korea.

The occasion for the PA-provided festivities? To celebrate the birth anniversary of Kim Jong Il, the deceased previous dictator and father of current leader Kim Jong-Un. Elder of Ziyon reports that in a speech, Hasan toasted the deceased North Korean leader as “a state leader possessed of brilliant idea and creative caliber. He devoted himself to the freedom of the country and its people’s happiness and the victory of the oppressed people’s struggle.”

North Korea, is one of the world’s most repressive countries. According to The Wall Street Journal, it operates a system of city-sized gulags that are thought to hold as many as 80,000-120,000 people (“North Korea Plans Report on Human Rights,” Aug. 11, 2014). A 2014 report by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner found that the regime is guilty of committing “arbitrary detention, torture, executions” of its own people, in addition to starving them in mass famines. Free thought and dissent are punishable by torture or death and a personality cult surrounds the North Korean leader. Potential rivals, including Kim Jong-Un’s uncle, have been murdered. The commission found that DPRK officials misused international aid by “imposing conditions” on delivery of food aid that was not “based on humanitarian conditions.

The chair of the commission, Michael Kirby, remarked: “The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.” The report concluded that “institutions and officials involved are not held accountable. Impunity reigns.”

The PA also rules in a repressive, undemocratic fashion, if not as pervasively as North Korea. PA President Mahmoud Abbas is currently in the eleventh year of a single elected four-year term. He has refused to hold new elections.

As CAMERA has noted (“Palestinian Children Wear Suicide Belts to Celebrate Fatah’s Anniversary,” Jan. 12, 2016), the PA has imprisoned Palestinian Arabs for Facebook posts critical of Abbas and the PA. Possible Abbas rivals, like his former Gaza security chief Mohammad Dahlan, have been forced into exile in Abu Dhabi. Abbas’ predecessor and the first head of the PA, Yasser Arafat, purportedly murdered critics and potential rivals like Abu Iyad, who disagreed with Arafat’s supporting Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the first Persian Gulf War.

Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh recently has written about PA use of international aid to construct a police state in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) (“U.S., Europe Fund Torture by Palestinian Authority,” Gatestone Institute, Feb. 26, 2016). Toameh notes a recent report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor that documents 179 cases of torture in PA prisons and 1,274 cases of arbitrary detention. He adds that “among those arrested were 35 Palestinian journalists and civil rights activists, and 476 students and academics.” The PA security forces, funded by the United States, the European Union and others are responsible for these detentions and for the torture that purportedly frequently accompanies it.

Perhaps when the PA ambassador praised North Korean leadership as “devoted to freedom” he was applying the term as the Palestinian Authority seems to understand it.



Posted by SD at March 2, 2016 04:00 PM

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