It is clear that Mahmoud Abbas's government is pursuing a policy of quashing critical media coverage and stifling free speech on the Internet.
The Media has long ignored the abuses of the Abbas regime in the West Bank. The fact that alleged moderate peace partner of Israel Abbas regularly incites hatred against Israel, that Abbas stopped legally being President over 3 years ago or that Fayyad's term as Prime Minister was illegally renewed do not interest the Media.
Apparently some minor details do not concern Obama either.
Jonathan Schanzer writes about Abbas's Police State, whose most recent human rights violation was to suppress free speech by instructing Internet providers to block access to news websites in order to prevent access to reporting critical of Abbas.
Suppression of free speech under Palestinian Authority rule is nothing new--back in 2009, Al Jazeera was banned from the West Bank for reporting critical of Abbas, reporting on allegations he and former Gaza security chief Mohammad Dahlan were involved Yasser Arafat's death.
This is an ongoing story that has continued for months and was first broken by Challah Hu Akbar who first reported about the Palestinian Authority sabotaging websites.
This all brings us back to Obama.
What was Obama's reaction to Abbas's stifling of free speech?
It was exactly the same as his reaction to Abbas's remaining in office illegally or the incitement of hatred against Israel.
More than that, Obama has given Abbas the green light to continue Palestinian violations of human rights and free speech--to the tune of $192 million:
Obama's new executive order, which is designed to prevent human rights violations involving technology, may provide Palestinians with their best recourse for combating Abbas's attempts to dominate the political space in the West Bank. But the president has so far failed to live up to his lofty rhetoric. Just days after the scandal erupted, the president signed a waiver releasing $192 million in aid for the Palestinians that had been frozen by Congress on the grounds that it was "important for the security interests of the United States."Abbas--like the other Middle East despots--already now that Obama's actions do not match his rhetoric when he makes threats. Here, when Obama does not even bother to condemn Abbas and the actions of the Palestinian Authority, you can be sure that the message is even more clear:
The president, however, issued the waver without first demanding that Abbas take measures to guarantee free speech in the West Bank. This was a lost opportunity. Only direct intervention by the United States will ensure greater freedom of expression for Palestinians engaged in this important struggle.
Neither Obama, nor human rights, need be taken seriously by the Muslim regimes of the Middle East.
Hat tip: EJ
Technorati Tag: Abbas and Palestinian Authority and Human Rights Violations and Obama.