Just last week, for example, a journalist who requested a meeting between Western journalists and a top Palestinian Authority official was told "to make sure there were no Jews or Israelis" among the visitors.Toameh notes that it is not clear if the official leadership is behind this, but neither are they doing anything to curb this.
The official's aide went on to explain: "We are sorry, but we do not meet with Jews or Israelis."
Another Palestinian journalist who tried to arrange an interview with a Palestinian Authority official for a European colleague was turned down "because the man's name indicates he is a Jew."
In yet another recent incident, a Palestinian Authority ministry instructed its guards to "prevent Jewish reporters" from attending an event in Ramallah.
It is a bit odd that Kerry is pushing for talks and emphasizing how crucial they are -- at a time when the Abbas regime shows no interest in Israeli-Arab negotiations without preconditions and curtails communications with Israelis and Jews.
Journalists who want to visit a city under the control of the Palestinian Authority city or meet with a top official has to first get permission in advance from the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information.
Other Arab groups have picked up on the hint -- the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate now supports the restrictions and is urging the Palestinian Authority to ban Israeli journalists from being allowed to enter Palestinian cities without permission.
Thus Toameh's question:
It now remains to be seen how Palestinians will react when and if they see their leaders in the West Bank return to the negotiating table with Israel, or meet with a Jewish Congressman or politician.Read the whole thing.
The next time U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits Ramallah, will he actually violate U.S. law to make sure there are no Jews among his entourage lest he upset his Palestinian hosts?
|US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Abbas in Istanbul in April. |
Meeting Abbas on his home turf may be trickier. Credit: Wiki Commons
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