Khaled Abu Toameh, about whom we recently wrote here and here has provoked a hissy from Ali Kazak – and responds to him in a clearcut manner in an article by Rebecca Weisser in the Australian entitled “Journalist says only truth will set Palestine free”.
As the article says: “Asked why he calls Abu Toameh a traitor, Kazak says: “Palestinians are the victims. He shouldn’t write about them, he should write about the crimes of the Israelis.” Kazak admits there is corruption and violence in the West Bank and Gaza. “Of course, Palestinian society isn’t perfect. I myself have criticised it,” he says. But Kazak objects to Abu Toameh writing about it.
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 I write about corruption and bad government in Palestine it’s because I care about the people and not because I support the occupation.
“I’m more pro-Palestinian than Mr Kazak because I’m demanding reform and democracy and good government for my people while he is sitting here in the comfort of Australia, preaching to us what’s good and what’s bad and spewing hatred. “I don’t receive threats from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. I receive threats from people like Mr Kazak. 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.
“Hamas, Fatah, they know I am writing the truth. They just say to me, ‘Why do you have to air the dirty linen in public?’ ” But he refuses to be silent, saying he does more for Palestinian human rights and freedom of speech than Kazak, and that Palestinians in the diaspora who live cut off from the reality of life in the West Bank and Gaza do nothing to help Palestinians. “They live in a parallel universe of leftist, radical ideology. They are much more hostile towards me than Palestinians living in Gaza or Ramallah.”
Miranda Devine also penned a thoughtful article in the Sydney Morning Herald here about the potential pitfalls of the current Obama pushed proximity talks after attending a press meeting with Toameh.