Palestinian Journalist Rips French President for Inviting Abbas

Abbas in Paris at Anti-Terror Rally (AP)
Associated Press

A Palestinian journalist has penned an open letter to French President François Hollande, protesting the fact that France invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to participate in last Sunday’s march in Paris against terror and in memory of the slain journalists of Charlie Hebdo. “Abbas is personally responsible for punishing Palestinian journalists who dare to criticize him or express their views in public,” the letter declares.

The journalist–who declined to be named for fear of retribution–describes how Abbas’s regime had cracked down on the press, often for daring to criticize his government.

“Your Excellency, you are probably unaware of the cases of several Palestinian journalists who have been arrested and intimidated by President Abbas’s security forces over the past few years. Yes, this is the same Abbas who came to Paris to express his condolences over the brutal killing of the Charlie Hebdo journalists.”

The letter adds that the West is largely unaware of the Palestinian Authority’s intolerance for freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and academic freedom. The journalist notes that “Western media outlets and foreign journalists based here do not report about such stories. You read and hear about such incidents only when the Israeli army or police are involved.”

Earlier this week, comedian Jon Stewart claimed on The Daily Show that it is Israel that suppresses freedom of speech, citing the case of a Palestinian cartoonist who was jailed recently, and referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as representing “Palestinian cartoonist-jailing Israel” in the anti-terror march in Paris on Sunday.

However, in that case, the cartoonist was not arrested for the content of his drawings but for suspected contact with a foreign extremist group (though the cartoonist’s allies claimed otherwise). The Israeli press remains one of the most irreverent in the world.

The Palestinian journalist’s letter points out far more glaring examples of hypocrisy in the Palestinian Authority, which Stewart ignored.

The full text was obtained and published by the Gatestone Institute, a pro-Israel think tank.

Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.

Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak