REPRESSION AND FEAR STILL GROWING IN
NOW DOUBLY OCCUPIED PALESTINE
MER - WASHINGTON - 24 October:
The level of repression in Palestine has never been higher -- not
under the British, not under the Jordanians, not under the more direct pre-Oslo Israeli
occupation. The double-occupation of Yasser Arafat is turning and twisting Palestinians
society into its most fearful, despondent, and fractured state ever.
Palestinians in the "autonomous" population centers are
more and more afraid to speak, not only to journalists but even among themselves as there
are now so many informers and paid agents among them. This grand repression was plotted
all along by the Israelis. And year by year they have managed to draw in the Americans and
the Europeans to provide the Arafat regime with the instruments and the means to do the
dirty job of stomping all over his own people.
And now, coming out from behind-the-scenes where it has operated for
some time, the CIA -- along with the Israeli Mossad and Shinbet and the Jordanian
Muhabarat -- is taking charge. Essentially this grand conspiracy is aimed at the
destruction of real Palestinian nationalism even while allowing Arafat to orate and
pretend just the opposite.
Bottom line: All challenges to Israeli/American hegemony in the
region, and all challenges to the system of client-regimes who miserably oppress their own
people while pursuing their alliances with the West and Israel, are to be infiltrated and
quashed more than ever.
Palestinian journalists and activists have been repeatedly
threatened, arrested, and in a few cases tortured, ever since Arafat and his exiles
returned to take over -- all with Israeli and American arms and money. All independent
publications have been snuffed out in recent years. Leading academics and intellectuals
have been black-listed. Travel and visa restrictions have also been used and manipulated
to push collaborators forward, while pushing honest and independent persons under.
Journalists and public personalities already have been forced to
practice a growing degree of individual self-censorship. And now with "Oslo III"
the screws are being turned a few more notches.
Last month Arafat's musicians went on strike. Showing them who's
boss Arafat even had them arrested; only releasing them after they promised to keep their
mouths shut other than when blowing their instruments for his grand arrival ceremonies.
Now the Journalists are fed up -- and rightly so. This AP story is
just the tip of the story about how bad things have gotten.
PALESTINIAN JOURNALISTS CALL STRIKE
JERUSALEM (AP - 10/24) -- Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip decided Saturday to
go on strike to protest restrictions by the Palestinian Authority on their news coverage.
The move came a day after Palestinian police detained a dozen journalists in Gaza City
who were waiting to interview Sheik Ahmed Yassin, spiritual leader of the Islamic
fundamentalist group Hamas, about the signing of a new Mideast peace deal.
The journalists were told that effective immediately, they needed permission from the
Palestinian Authority to cover events dealing with politics or security, thereby
restricting access to both Palestinian officials and opposition figures like Yassin.
The Gaza City-based Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate said in a statement Saturday its
members would not accept the restrictions and had decided to halt news coverage of the
Palestinian Authority in Gaza in retaliation.
The statement also called on the Palestinian security apparatus to stop any
mistreatment of reporters and asked that all international press groups pressure the
Palestinian leadership to respect press freedom.
Journalists also planned to hold a sit-in at the syndicate until the curbs were
There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials.
All the detained journalists were forced to hand over their equipment, including mobile
phones, tape recorders and cameras.
They were also told to appear at police headquarters on Saturday, but a representative
of syndicate went instead.