A President Who Greets His People Without Barriers

ماذا جرى في منتدى كرايسكي خلال زيارة الرئيس عباس / أصغر صعلوك على بوابة الرئاسة يفرض الحصار على الرئيس محمود عباس /تعليمات السفير الفلسطيني تقضي بإقصائي من لقاء الجالية الفلسطينية / الرئيس عباس يلتقي الجالية الفلسطينية في النمسا / خطاب الرئيس الفلسطيني في منتدى كرايكسي/ هدية الرئيس النمساوي لنظيره الفلسطيني خلال زيارته للنمسا / ربع ساعة مع الرئيس فيشر قبل وصول موكب الرئيس عباس

Austria is a peaceful western country – whoever sees Austrian President Dr. Heinz Fischer with a big smile in the morning must feel optimistic throughout the rest of his day. In contrast, whoever sees the face of an Arab dictator or so many other Western and Americans leaders must feel hurt fear for a catastrophe on that day. There is a big difference between a peaceful President who loves his people and whose people love him, and a President or leader who claims grandiosity but who could not care less for the interests of his people but instead only brings war and disasters to his and other nations.

As in most countries, the president can be seen as an expression of the political culture and climate of the country. President Fischer, with his long political record of successful work for Austria and the Austrians, does not need barriers, heavy guns and paranoid guards between him and his people whenever he wants to meet them, shake hands and to participate in their activities.

Before the background of its own history, Austria has sought for decades to play a role in fostering peace and resolving conflicts in the Arab- and other regions. To this end, the political establishment has understood for many decades to use the neutrality of the country as an asset in its relations with other countries. It is not surprising that the State of Austria plays a silent yet active role in attempting to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while being, by example, a compass for peace. (Click on the small image to see it bigger).

On last Monday, November 28 2011, at quarter to eleven, President Fischer came to the inner Hofburg square to receive his guest, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. President Fischer was accompanied as usual by his military adjutant, some people from his team and a security detail. He arrived in friendly mood, smiling at everybody. Since he arrived some minutes early, he used the time to greet everybody – he went to a group of people, passers-by and tourists behind a barrier and began shaking hands with them, then he went to greet some of the present journalists, and finally with some of the men from a military detachment.

How great the Austrian President Dr. Fischer is, who refuses to put barriers between him and his people. I am truly astonished each time when I see the complete absence of paranoia on part of the President and the people around him. I don’t know of another country where the President, or any other member of the government, meets the people on eye level and everybody just smiles.

While waiting for his guest President Abbas to arrive, Dr. Fischer described President Abbas as a “dear friend” to the press teams on location. A few minutes later, landscape changed noticeably with the arrival of President Abbas and his Palestinian security crew, which jumped from the car as if they were expecting a war, or at least some incoming artillery rounds.

It looks that the Palestinian security staff received their training in the USA or in Israel, two places whose regimes are markedly affected by paranoia and self-conceit. The contrast in the behavior of the Palestinian security crew to the Austrian crew was obvious: while the Austrians appeared to put efforts into not being noticed, the Palestinians would constantly stare in suspicion at everybody during the troop review. I did not know how things would go downhill from here.

Two weeks before the arrival of President Abbas to Austria, I spoke several times with the Palestinian Ambassador Dr. Zuheir Al-Wazeer. Since I had asked some uneasy questions to the Palestinian delegations and to Nabil Shaat at the UN, we are not on the best of terms. He was apparently afraid that I could ask similarly critical questions to President Abbas at press meetings.

I had managed to cause major embarrassment for the Palestinian delegations, especially Nabil Shaath at the UN, by asking questions with documentary evidence about their indifference before the issue of honor killings”, wanton murders of Palestinians by PA personnel, the growing number of events of sexual harassment against female employees of the PA perpetrated by PA staff, the issue of “security” prisoners and their torture at PA prisons and lastly the issues of corruption and constant abuse of power by PA employees and the imposition of censorship on the Palestinian media.

Dr. Al-Wazeer told me in his own grandiloquent words: “It will be written in the historical book of the Palestine if you did not ask Abbas your critical questions before the western media during his visit to Austria”. I tried to quite Dr. Al-Wazeer. I told him that I supported Abass and that I love him, but that my love for Palestine was bigger than anything else.

Despite my long clarification and our long discussion, Dr. Al-Wazeer he did not manage to get rid of his fears, especially after I requested from him to include a meeting with the Palestinian community in Austria on the agenda of the President Abbas during his visit to Vienna. Dr. Al-Wazeer did not agree to my request, but upon my insistence and because of his fear of discussing this matter in the media, he saw himself obliged to set such a meeting on Abbas’ agenda in Vienna.

The second day of President Abbas work visit to Austria was concluded by speech at the Kreisky Forum. Among other things, President Abbas said in his speech that “the State of Palestine will be a state of democracy, of respect for human rights, women rights and of private and public freedoms”. I was very happy to hear that. The only thing that made me uncomfortable and worried were the signs of anxiety and fatigue on the face of President Abbas, and the medical emergency team which accompanied him on his visit to the Kreisky Forum.

November 29 2011, 11:30 was the time supposedly set for a meeting between President Abbas and the Palestinian community in Vienna at the Hotel Imperial. I went to the Hotel Imperial after Ambassador Al-Wazeer invited me; I thought that I had succeeded in convincing the ambassador to organize an encounter of the President with the Palestinian community in Vienna.

Unfortunately, things went differently. I was faced with a violent Palestinian security thug at the entrance of Abbas’ room. He threatened me to get out and to leave the hotel before pushing me out violently. He said that he “wanted to teach me how to write critical reports in the media”. I only asked him to talk to me in a polite way, but Mr. Ihab Al-Ghoul, from the Embassy ordered me to get out of the room too.

The Austrian security people standing outside were astonished, one of them even asked me what had gone wrong. I told him that they had punishing me because of some critical reporting of mine. I asked Consul Hazem Shabat from the Palestinian Embassy why I was being denied to meet President Abbas. He said he would go and ask. He sent me another Palestinian intelligence agent to tell me that I had to leave the hotel “as punishment for reporting criticism about PA figures and their corruption in the western media”.

That same guy together with one of his colleagues had been following me around and insistently trying to get my phone number because “I have beautiful eyes” the day before while Abbas’ delegation was at the Chancellor’s office and at the Parliament, constantly commenting on my “beautiful dress” and other inanities.

The night before, at the Kreisky Forum, before Chancellor Faymann, President Fischer and at the Parliament, President Abbas had solemnly insisted that a “State of Palestine” would respect democracy, human rights, women rights, individual and collective rights and freedom of expression”.

The behavior of these thugs, “teaching me how to write critical reports about PA personalities”, kicking me out of a meeting with Abbas “in punishment for reporting about corruption in the PA in western media”, in addition to the exclusion of almost all Palestinians living in Vienna beyond certain people widely suspected of being involved in shameful illegal activities, shows how honest Abbas’ inflated propaganda rhetoric at the Kreisky Forum and elsewhere was. It shows what kind of “State” is waiting for Palestinians after 64 years of living under the Israeli occupation and the increasingly brutal dictatorship of Abbas’ PA.

Simply said, the USA and the Western community are supporting the birth of a dictatorial regime while all around in the Middle East dictatorial regimes are collapsing.

10 comments to A President Who Greets His People Without Barriers

  • John Blank

    Abbas is as crooked as a dogs hind leg. He is a puppet of the Americans and the Israelies. He is an illegitimate head of state who overthrew the results of an election that didn’t go his (Israels) way. He would be unable to answer questions honestly, so he removes people who might ask serious questions. To expect honesty and openness from a political system that allows this to happen is naive.

  • michelob

    This ignorant, naive woman obviously doesnt realize the dictatorial regimes that are “falling” are being felled by the same CIA who put them in to begin with- and the same CIA who is installing their successors, using the desparate arab masses to do it for them by calling it ‘democracy’.

    That she buys such nonsense is shocking, esp being Palestininan. The phony Arab Spring is just another Western coup detat series Like Mossedeqh-Shah-Khomeini= CIA/ MI6/ Mossad puppets all.

    • Terry

      Why are you American so rude and ignorant of world affairs.

      Americans never really commented on the monstrous dictators foisted upon the Arab people by the West and now they are being defeated, creatures like criticise and mock the Arab Spring.

      I think portions of the zionist West are insane and the left over are total enemies of humanity.

  • Kyle

    Hmm. I see Dr Fischer shaking hands over a – barrier.

    • Raoul

      Yes, you are right, there are the now usual barriers up, an unsightly standard preparation for motorcades of international visitors, and Heinz Fischer is reaching across one of them to talk to people and shake hands. But you can come to any non-international events in Austria, and you can talk to local politicians freely, including the President.

      What the author of this article is conveying jibes well with my own experience.

  • jim von Beker

    Pay no attention to the american comments, They are bitter and cynical from being ruled by a low class no account faker. Barriers are something that prevent people from shaking hands by the way, just making that clear, and Dr. Heinz is indeed, one in a million, Rather one in a hundred million, Keep up the good work Ms. Salam . I read your news reports with anticipation and wonder each time, Thank you.

  • i love truth and hate despots or anyone oppressing anyone . i love kawthers truthful and rightfully pertinent questions which need to be asked.
    recently 2 generals of the pakistani army visited me requesting help in what they wanted to acheive now that they are retired. i also had to ask pertinent questions in regard to more then 45000 people who are under threat from some of they actions in the area they controlled, after listening to they pleas of ignorance and lack of power i had them thrown out of my house to show them that there is always some one more powerful then them if need be!

    my family were one of the founders of the state of pakistan and are also very politically powerful and alhamdulillah more then able to ask questions to anyone if need be!
    there are a lot of corrupted idiotic paksitani fools from the western world causing more corruption but overall my family are and have been and will be always for the rights of humans of all faiths everywhere and safeguarding those who need protection within our areas of influence.

    i salute men like dr fischer who are genuine, sadly there are few of them in the world and i wish there were more, the world would be a better place.

    lastly, kawther, we send lots of money to those in need in palestine but not through the P.A. and tell them too why we never use they services!
    we support ordinary humanity, Allah has made us capable to provide as much as possible to individuals and not organisations!
    it is right we all should hold those responsible in positions of power for they actions and punish those who trangress all bounds in tyranny and oppression to they fellow humans!

  • Andy

    How can you be so blind? After all the truth you have shown in the past about the injustices in Palestine, how can you miss the fact that the supposed “rebellions” against supposed “dictators” are CIA/Mossad operations aimed at forcing the Arab state back under the control (dictatorship) of the same private bankers that run Israel.

  • Bonjour Madame Salam,

    St. Francis was the bright shining light in the middle of the nefarious affair of the colonizing of the Holy Land for political ambition begun by the Byzantine Emperor and Pope Urban II. St. Francis went to the Sultan of Egypt, Malik-al-Kamil, the nephew of Saladin, and did not insult his faith, but instead prayed with him. The Sultan was so moved by St. Francis, that upon his leaving he presented St. Francis with a horn used by the muezzin to call people to prayer five times a day. St. Francis used that horn thereafter to call his fellow Christians to prayer with when he returned to Italy. To commemorate his meeting with St. Francis and the profound impact of meeting a true Christian, the Sultan’s tomb was engraved with this, that what changed his (the Sultan’s) life was the meeting between a Christian monk (St. Francis) and the sultan in his tent. The Sultan remained a devout Muslim the rest of his life.

    Let us never get so cynical that we can not see the possibility of peace on the part of nations with good and decent leaders.

    Excellent article Ms. Salam.

    Adieu, Dieu bénisse vous ma soeur

    M. Languedoc

  • Claudius Stahlkopf

    Lot’s of rhetoric concerning the situation with Israel and Palestine .
    First they are enemy’s , second they are occupied ,
    The Israely and the Americans have managed to put a puppet government to their liking , in charge of Palestine . Therefore we have a show of marionettes since the occupation of Palestine .
    The Palestinians are guelty of supporting a collaborators regime , and the Israely of war crime ,and expropriation of land who do not belong to them . Arabs spring should start in Palestine ( without the CIA and M16 !!)directing the show . The Russians are in Tartus now the time is ripe to ask their protection , the roten corrupt West now are facing the big boys !!,the big bear is awake is becoming very interesting !!
    Remenber Palestinians you are in a state of war with the Trolls , and war is war , in war time rhetoric lead no where ,is a waste of time ,only the sound of the canon get the attention of your enemy’s

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