Tuesday, April 22, 2014

22-Apr-14: Attention World Council of Churches: Will you now follow your own advice and speak up for the Arabs tortured and imprisoned by the PA?

Central committee of WCC meets in
Crete during summer 2012 [Image Source]
This blog post is about blatant hypocrisy. It takes the form of a constructive and sincere suggestion for the World Council of Churches, and in particular for its chief executive Olav Fykse Tveit

The WCC went public last week with a statement of solidarity with what it calls "some 5000 Palestinian men, women and children, languishing in Israeli jails". We commented on this here ["17-Apr-14: Christian solidarity with unrepentant murderers: where's the outrage?"]. Though many of the convicts are self-confessed murderers and many more of them proud and unrepentant terrorists, Tveit called on the worshippers of the churches who make up the WCC 
"to pray for, visit, and tend to the needs of all prisoners, no matter the reason for their detention. For Israel and Palestine, prisoners have taken on even greater significance than in the past."
Tveit goes on to invite 
"the churches in the Holy Land to remember Palestinian prisoners through prayers and acts of solidarity that restore to them their freedom with justice and dignity”.
As disgusting as this well-publicized bit of playing to certain kinds of grandstands is, we feel - in the interests of fair play - that it creates a precedent for the world's most significant aggregation of non-Catholic churches to act, to speak out, in light of some very disturbing revelations made today. 

They come from an Arab journalist who formerly plied his trade inside the Arafat-controlled Palestinian Authority until he walked away some years ago appalled by what was being done there to his people. 

The journalist's name is Khaled Abu Toameh. We have had the privilege of quoting him often in our blog [here, for instance: "30-Sep-12: While Abbas regime sends protestors into streets to decry Israeli imprisonment of terrorists, they quietly arrest Abbas' opponents"] because, unlike almost all of the foreigners who claim to report on the inner doings of the Palestinian Arab leadership and the society on top of which it sits, he speaks their language, he lives among them, and he has a career-long, well-earned reputation for integrity and simple courage in uncovering the unvarnished truth about the Arafat, Abbas and Hamas regimes.

In an article published earlier today on the Gatestone Institute website (in part, based on this Arabic language report), Khaled Abu Toameh says the Abbas regime's security forces
continue to hold hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians in prison, some tortured, some without trial. This year alone, the Palestinian Authority has arrested 357 Palestinians accused of security/political offenses, 42 of whom are university students. Of course, the arrests continue to be ignored by the mainstream media in the West. 
Why's that? Because
This is a story that does not reflect negatively on Israel, so is therefore not considered worthy of being reported to Western audiences.... In March alone, Palestinian Authority security forces raided and searched 42 private and public institutions, businesses, hospitals and charitable organizations in the West Bank... the Palestinian Authority security forces were continuing to torture detainees.
Please notice that not a single one of the men and women tortured and imprisoned by their PA brothers is accused of murder. This is significant because, by contrast, the fury emanating from the PA and their friends over Israel refusing to deliver up last month another tranche of convicts to the PA 'hero of the day' process is about convicted murderers: men who are proud of the lives they snuffed out, and which are now supposed to be their passport to fame, adulation and respect at the hands of the Palestinian Authority. 

As we have written here many times in the past nine months, a peace process in which committed murderers are deliberately and repeatedly turned by one of the parties in the conflict into heroes whose homicidal exploits are celebrated as examples for others to follow, is no peace process at all but a march towards victory.

The PLO's Hanan Ashrawi, embarrassingly awarded the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize by an Australian political figure called Bob Carr, gets a mention in the Abu Toameh article. She calls for
international commissions of inquiry to Israeli prisons to look into Israeli "violations" against the Palestinian inmates [and] accusing Israel of "war crimes" because of its "mistreatment" of the prisoners.
So let's ask Dr Tveit and/or Mrs Ashrawi whether the torture and imprisonment of Palestinian Arabs by the armed men of the Abbas regime deserves the same sort of attention, the same kind of commissions of inquiry, the same sort of "freedom with justice and dignity" that they are demanding of the Israelis.

And if not, then perhaps these ever-talkative "peace" champions can explain to us why it's only the Arab murderers and practitioners of terror (always directed at innocent Israeli civilians, like our murdered daughter) for whose benefit their unconscionable and ill-considered appeals are made.

UPDATE April 24, 2014: We forwarded this post by email to Dr Tveit at the WCC. Stay tuned for his response.

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