Khaled Abu Toameh is a hero..not a traitor...
Toameh is one of my favorite reporters...
The former PLO "ambassador" to Australia, Ali Kazak, believes that an Arab journalist who writes about financial corruption and theft in the Palestinian Authority is a "traitor" who should be murdered the same way as collaborators were killed by the French Resistance.
Kazak told the newspaper, The Australian: "Khaled Abu Toameh is a traitor. Traitors were also murdered by the French Resistance, in Europe; this happens everywhere."
Asked why he calls the journalist a traitor, the former PLO representative, who lives in Australia, explained: "Palestinians are the victims. He shouldn't write about them, he should write about the crimes of the Israelis."
Kazak's threat does not come as a surprise to those who are familiar with the methods used by Arab dictatorships to silence anyone who dares to demand reforms and transparency.
The threat reminds journalists like me how lucky we are that we live in Israel and not under the jurisdiction of the PLO or Hamas.
We are also fortunate that Kazak and his radical supporters are sitting far away in Australia and not in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where they would be lining up journalists and critics against the wall and shooting them like the "traitors who were murdered by the French Resistance."
The PLO, like most of the Arab dictatorships, has a long history of targeting journalists who refuse to "toe the line." This clampdown is one of the main reasons why the Palestinian media is still far from being independent and free.
One of the first things the PLO did when it entered the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1994 was to wage a campaign of intimidation and terror against Palestinian reporters and editors.
Another photographer had his two arms broken by members of Fatah's armed wing, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, apparently after he had been heard bad-mouthing senior officials associated with Arafat.
A photographer who took a picture of a donkey strolling along the beach of Gaza City was arrested and beaten by Palestinian security agents on charges of "defaming the Palestinian cause" by distributing a picture of the animal instead of documenting the "suffering" of his people.