Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.
Gatestone Institute (Sep 17):
- The vote in favor of hoisting the flag is not going to bring democracy, freedom of expression and transparency to the Palestinians.
- The vote at the UN concerning the Palestinian flag came amid increased human rights violations by both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas. But since when does the UN care about human rights violations committed by the PA and Hamas against their own people?
- Who cares if Hamas arrests Fatah voters and candidates as long as a Palestinian flag is raised in front of the UN? The UN considers raising a Palestinian flag more important than demanding an end to human rights violations by the PA and Hamas. No UN member states bothered to denounce the Hamas crackdown and the obstruction of the Fatah election.
- The countries that voted in favor of the motion do not really care about the needs and interests of the Palestinians. The vote was mainly directed against Israel — to taunt Israel rather than help the Palestinians move closer towards building an independent state.
- A Palestinian living in the West Bank or Gaza Strip does not really care if his flag is flown in front of a UN building. For Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, there are more urgent matters such as the harsh economic conditions and the repressive measures of the Hamas regime.
- Hamas wants the world to continue believing that the Palestinians are still unable to rebuild their homes because of Israeli “restrictions” and lack of international funds. That is why the journalists who tried to cover the removal of the debris were physically assaulted and detained for interrogation.
- The situation under the PA in the West Bank is not any better with regards to human rights violations. Almost every day, PA security forces arrest several Palestinians and hold them without trial.