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January 23, 2003

Elections Arafat Style - Cont.

In a previous article (see Dawson Speaks or IsraPundit), I commented on the elections the PA was supposed to have held on January 20, 2003, recalling the 1996 experience. Just in case anyone (such as the EU-niks) believed that “this time - whenever that is - it will be different”, the Jerusalem Post, January 22, 2003, reports as follows:
Palestinian professor Abdel Sattar Kassem, who has announced his intention to run against Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in the next Palestinian general elections, said Tuesday he was being subjected to a campaign of intimidation by the PA’s security forces.

Kassem, who teaches political science at an-Najah University in Nablus, said, “Intimidating the Palestinian electorate by the Palestinian security service is already in action. Security men have been watching my activities very closely in an attempt to hinder my efforts to mobilize supporters.”

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Kassem said Palestinian security forces and senior PA officials are waging a campaign of intimidation against the local media, especially in Nablus and Jenin, aiming to stop the publication of interviews with him on different issues. “They have been partially successful,” he noted, referring to Palestinian newspapers' refusal refused [sic] to cover his activities and statements in recent weeks.
This is not the first time that Kassem is targeted by the PA security forces. A few years ago he was shot and injured by a lone gunman outside his house. The attack came shortly after Kassem and several Palestinian academics and politicans signed a petition calling for reforms in the PA and condemning the systematic abuse of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
What are the chances that Neil Macdonald will report about Kassem? About the same chances that the the EU/Powell will learn from experience. For, that is the nature of anti-Israel sentiment: facts don’t matter.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.