Khaled Abu Toameh is an Israeli-Arab journalist who currently writes for the Jerusalem Post and the U.S. News and World Report. An Arab-Muslim, he has been extremely critical of Hamas and the PLO, and has spoken his mind on the threat of extremist Islam.
Abu Toameh spoke today at Boston University. He said that both parties leading the Palestinians, Hamas and Fatah, are ‘bad guys’, contrary to Condoleeza Rice’s assertion that it is a struggle between good guys (Fatah) and bad guys (Hamas). He highlighted the fact that the Palestinians have gotten rid of Fatah in elections, and therefore, Abbas does not have any mandate to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians. Furthermore, he would not have the ability to implement any agreement, rendering negotiations with him futile.
Toameh rejected a questioner’s assertion that poverty causes corruption. He said that the corrupt Palestinians, the PLO leadership, were actually fabulously wealthy.
Toameh discussed Pallywood as well. Last month’s blackouts, staged by Hamas and lapped up by the media, were crudely staged events. Hamas invited journalists to a room lit by candles. The catch is that this was done during the day, in a room darkened by sheets over the windows. Toameh reported on it, but the MSM went along with the charade. Toameh also recounted how Palestinians would call him and request that he inform foreign journalists that a protest was scheduled for a certain date. The hour before the protest, he would receive a call asking where the journalists were. He would inform them that they would not be attending, and the Palestinians would cancel the protest if no journalists were present to document it.
Most Palestinians miss the ‘good old days before the peace process’, Toameh said. Before Oslo, there were no militias walking around with guns, there was one power with whom the Palestinians knew how to deal, the IDF. There were rules and fairness. West Bank Palestinians would adamantly oppose Israel ending its presence in the West Bank.
Toameh adamantly underscored Israel’s treatment of Palestinians compared to that of other Arab states. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with anti-racism laws. Lebanon bars Palestinians from working in 72 professions. Kuwait forbids Palestinians from owning homes, and Toameh’s own father and grandfather were summarily ejected from Kuwait during the first Gulf War.
I would take issue with Toameh’s claim that suicide bombers are driven only by a hatred of Israel, and not a significant religious motivation. Though many suicide bombers are not especially religious, this fervor and widespread support is a phenomenon that is unique to Muslim extremism. I would also argue with his statement that Palestinians are fighting for a two-state solution. I would say that most are fighting for a one-state solution, Palestine without Israel.
Toameh is to be commeded for his dedication to reporting truth as he sees it, and not listening to those who say that he is bound to a certain viewpoint because he is an Arab Muslim.