Criticizing the Government? A taboo in Palestinian Authority
2 March 2012

Il Giornale, February 12 2012

Only Palestinians will not have their Arab spring, not even in its embryonal stage, i.e. messages criticizing their leaders on Facebook. In Ramallah , the security forces of Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad recently arrested Rami Samara, a Wafa news agency journalist. After the Palestinian leaders blamed Israel for the failed peace talks, Samara posted the following: < "OK, no joking now, do the members of the sole legitimate leadership of the Palestinian people' believe that this announcement is worth their sitting in their seats, turning on the heaters and drinking coffee and tea in their offices in Ramallah?" Two of the PA's two security agencies then separately called this young journalist infor questioning.

They subsequently summoned a woman whore-posted one of his comments on line. A year ago, the PA's security authorities detained Mamdouh Hamarneh, a TV producer from Bethlehem, for 50 days for having compared Abbason Facebook to a Syrian actor who portrayed a "traitor" in a popular Syrian soap opera.

Palestinians obviously cannot criticize their leaders. And that's not all. Under Abbas's new agreement with Hamas, Abbas has addedone more title, to the many he has had up to now. He will now be the Prime Minister of the PA, in addition to being the President, head of the Fatah central committee, President of the PLO executive power, and the Commander of the Palestinian armed forces. The Council of Europe has just unanimously voted for Palestine as a "partner for democracy". Shouldn't it have asked the Palestinian bloggers before having done so?