Criticism of Palestinian institutions in the interest of Palestine is a healthy phenomenon, especially when the author of the criticism has a known history of struggle in defense of Palestine and when this criticism is done in the national interest of Palestine.
During my over 26 years of working as a journalist in occupied Palestine, this work which I consider as an integral part of the Palestinian national struggle, I do not recall that I opposed the principle of criticism or denied my readers in daily newspapers the right of criticism and expressing their diverging opinion. I always published all criticism and protest letter in the daily newspapers. Several times I published corrections and apologized to my readers when what I had written was not correct. I hold these same principles on my website, but with a clear exception for people who post clearly illegal or insulting comments, who try to impose themselves on me or whom I suspect of having ulterior motives.
Yesterday was a “special day” in the history of the criticism of my journalistic work. In the morning I received an email which included some information about a writer who had criticized previous reports which I had posted on PTT defending Palestinian human rights, in which I clearly wrote about honor killings, the execution of people without fair trials, the corruption and the misuse of foreign financial aid given to Palestinian institutions. These are issues which always appeared in the Palestinian daily newspapers, which were written about despite the censorship from several sides.
The person who criticizes me, who lives in a house of glass and is surrounded by all the contradictions and the suspicions in regards to their personal affairs and their relation to an American convert, has reached in their criticism of my writing the level of the Israeli military censorship while at the same time claiming their commitment to the interests of the Palestinian struggle factions. The analysis which this critical writer made of my past essays reached a filthy level of smear, slander and personal insults while she disregarded in her writing the laws of the European Union and UK where she lives since decades while calling me “westernized” in a way which I perceive as lacking the basic respect which is normally extended to strangers. Besides that, it is incompatible with ethics of Islam, to slander others. This is expressly forbidden in the Quran and considered as a major sin. (Al-Nur: 23, Al-Ahzab: 58).
The Palestinian media, the daily newspapers and the Palestinian journalist all knows well what to write and report in the interest of their nation and homeland. None of them need people who can be suspected of being managed by infiltrators, trolls or foreigners with possible ulterior motives who attach themselves to Palestinians, Palestinian history, Islam, and the Palestinian resistance while trying to become part of the Palestinian society but in fact subverting and destroying it in the interest of the west. Unfortunately, there are many Palestinians who have passed through unsuccessful, awful experiences and have become victims of such infiltrators, strange foreigners, “converts” with ulterior motive.
The Palestinian history is not innocent of “converts” who try to crush the Palestinian identity.
The story of the “converts to Islam” reminded me of the Jewish Russian mathematics infiltrator who spoke good Arabic and declared his conversion to Islam at the end of 1990; he lived in an old basement near the Abraham Mosque among the Palestinians in my homeland Hebron, which this critical writer accused me of calling “garbage” in one of my previous essays which she apparently misunderstood because actually I used the word “garbage” to describe the urine, shit, sand, bullets which the IDF soldiers stationed on my rooftop were throwing in my house, balcony, water tank and hanged cloths. This “Russian Jew” who thought that his silly declaration of “conversion” could help him to marry a Palestinian woman while even the rats refused his proximity, lived among the Palestinian and never left the mosque even for a long while. After the massacre of 25 February 1994 against Muslims at the Abraham mosque, this stinky Jew “convert” fled. It came out that he was the right arm of the American terrorist Baruch Goldstein from the Kach movement, that he had helped him to perpetrate his crime of murdering over 50 Muslims and injuring hundreds more.
Every day Palestinian newspapers publish without fear dozens of reports against the authority of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, despite the occupation. They also publish dozens of reports supporting each of these factions on a daily basis. They publish fully detailed reports about human rights violations by both of Hamas and the PA. For example, here some (translated) titles of articles published today in Palestinian newspapers:
- Hamas has accused the Palestinian Authority of arresting 15 of its elements in the West Bank.
- Police said: woman died under mysterious circumstances in Hebron. (This means that she was victim of a so-called “honor killing).
- Elements wounded in a clash between elements of the “Qassam” and the “Islamic Jihad” in Gaza.
- The Major General Adnan Al-Damiri objected that the recent arrests by the security forces in Nablus of 20 citizens were for political reasons, as they all are charged with smuggling of funds and items related to the security of the Palestinian national authority.
- Hamas attacked an Al-Jazeera reporter in Gaza.
- Condemnations of attack against Al-Jzeera reporter.
- Secret meeting held between Israelis, Hamas officials.
- The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate condemns the PA closure of local TV stations in the West Bank.
- Human rights report of the Independent Commission accuses the government in Gaza, where convicted of murder in violation of the law
Publishing such reports is a part of the Palestinian daily life, they do not offend the Palestinian struggle, and publishing them does not mean that the honor of the Palestinian journalists and writers of these reports is in doubt, that they are traitors or accused in their patriotism, or that their belonging to Palestine is in doubt.
As a Palestinian journalist committed to the principles and provisions of the laws of the media and to the respect of the laws of the EU where live, as a member of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the International Federation of Journalists, I am committed to the regulations and bylaws of these institutions. I prefer to not respond directly to defamation, smear, insults, lies, and unreasonable criticism of this writer who attacked me because of my defense of human rights; of the victims of honor killings … I am seeking legal advice in this issue before deciding what to do next. I respect the law and justice which apply equally to everybody, and I will follow the advice of my lawyer in this issue. I will never stop criticizing my people, whether they are from Fatah, Hamas, the PA or other factions. The interest of Palestine and the human rights are above everybody. A child of Palestine has all the right to criticize the political leadership of Fatah and Hamas. I will not stop criticizing the Zionist occupation. The occupation is criminal and so are its perpetrators and supporters anywhere.
Much more worrying than the smear directed at me is the radicalization and extremism beyond reason which is apparent in some of the writings on that website. It has nothing to do with struggle for the Palestinian issue but much more with dangerous extremism instigated from elements who are not Palestinians, who are foreign to us and who I must doubt have our best interest at heart. I can only recommend this writer to look at the people who surround her and to ask herself some very critical questions. Whatever this person does, I hope that she understands that we Palestinians have few true friends, and even less so among zionist jews, and that she understands the dangers for herself in what she is doing, because contrary to these supposed “friends” she is not above the law.
Below is the answer which I sent to the bitter mail which put me in knowledge of this critical article.
I accept that (N) has other views than I, but what she says about me in that article is slanderous and insulting on a very personal level. I think that people living in the UK and in the EU should be aware of laws regarding slander.
During a past food fight between people related to PTT, I received unsolicited information about the writer of this article and about other people mentioned in the current series of Emails, which I consider to be shameful and potentially slanderous. Since I do not know her or the other people involved, I have chosen to keep this shameful information to myself.
I accepted to work with PTT on invitation of Haitham. I know him through his very respected work on PTT and sabbah.biz. I have no other relation or affiliation with Haitham or with anybody else, beyond a cordial relation with him and Mary. I have no influence in editorial or other decisions which Mary or Haitham take regarding PTT.
I will not be part of a meaningless fight. This fight is divisive and will only help to divert everybody involved from the issue of Palestine. I am too busy with my own issues to be involved in fruitless activities such as slandering people unknown to me and discussing hearsay.
I accept criticism of my writing and of my views, but I strongly reject slander and personal insults. I understand gratuitous conflicts like the present one as part of the work of secret services, who engage in making people fight with each other so that they forget the cause which brought them together in first place. The methods involved have been used before against the Palestinian political groups in Palestine, and against other political groups in many other countries. These methods used to destroy political movements are today known by the collective name of COINTELPRO in deference of a so named FBI project which became known to the public; these methods have since then been adapted, refined and used to destroy civil- and political rights and civic dissent movements around the world.
One thing the exile has taught me (apart from better English) is that the trust toward israeli jews who involve themselves in this issue on the side of Palestine, as well as the Palestinians whom they support, has limits. All these people were involved in the Palestinian issue as members of the IDF before they started supporting the Palestinian issue on the side of Palestinians; many do so in order soak charitable moneys donated to the Palestinian cause by people in the West who are less knowledgeable, all these people have family in the IDF, many live or have family which lives on stolen Palestinian lands in the West Bank. Some people whom I have known in israeli peace groups have no problem with living in houses stolen from Palestinians in Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem …
To me, Palestine remains above everybody. Criticism of Palestinians and Palestinian institutions in the interest of Palestine is a healthy thing to do.
If the price for posting my articles on PTT is to be involved in food fights such as this one, then I will spare my time and energy and stop posting my articles there, and continue my work on my own site.
Please take me out of the distribution list for these Emails.
Kind regards and all the best to you all,
Update: in order to prevent misunderstandings which may occur from reading this post I would like to clarify that I was honored and am still honored that Haitham invited me to publish on PTT, that I am one among the people who he and Mary selected as contributors to their site. I feel anger and sorrow for the attacks on PTT and on me because of my postings there, and I will continue cooperating with PTT. I will continue writing in defense of Palestinians, of human rights, of women rights and against the zionist occupation, against honor killings, against corruption and collaboration on side of Palestinian institutions and individuals