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Thursday, April 29 2004

'A real journalist'

Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh, born in Tulkarem, is a unique voice of straightforward reporting from the West Bank and Gaza.

InContext reports from a talk Abu Toameh gave in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Excerpt:

Why is he working for a "right wing Israeli newspaper?" Abu Toameh says he's always asked. Because he's a "real journalist." In the PA, there are no real journalists, just mouthpieces for the thugocracy (my word, not his).

As for the foreign press, Abu Toameh shrugs. They see no evil and hear no evil when it comes to the behavior of the PA. He describes an incredible scene back in 2002 when he was covering an event at the mukata, Arafat's compound in Ramallah. With a crowd of international reporters standing around, two palestinian policemen brought a man out, threw him up against a wall and shot him -- right under the window of Arafat's office. When the reporters converged, the policeman seemed bewildered. It was just a simple execution, nothing to get excited about, he said. And no one did. In fact, according to Abu Toameh, no one else even mentioned it. But he did.

The problem of imbalanced reporting, says Abu Toameh, has much to do with the failure of Israeli press relations:

When he's covering a story that reflects poorly on Israel and tries to get a government spokesman to offer a rebuttal, it's a long and frustrating process...The Arab spokespeople, on the other hand, are always more than willing to talk, to accomodate, to make a reporter feel welcome. Hospitality is a famed Arab trait, and one for which Israelis are not reknowned. Knock on the door, wake them up in the middle of the night, no problem. Hanan Ashrawi will come out in her nightgown to answer your questions.


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I suggested the story of the execution mentioned to Best of the Web Today. James Taranto excerpted the (very disturbing) story here.

Fair and honest reporting should always be promoted whether positive or negative, Israeli or Palestinian. Israel needs CONSTRUCTIVE criticism as much as it needs support because both are integral for good partnerships. This Jew is humbled by the courage of Mr. Khaled Abu Toameh to report what he sees despite the obvious risks.

"The Jew" is encouraged?



Must be a European

As a devoted reader of the Jerusalem Post, I can tell everyone that I look for Khaled Abu Toameh's byline to get the low down on what's REALLY happening within Palestinian society.
His courageous, and often remarkable reporting is a clear window into the "thugocracy" that is the P.A.

I want to invite him to South Africa as our guest but I cannot get hold of an e-mail address for him that works - can anyone help??

I really look up to him!

Khaled Abu Toameh is a top-notch
journalist first and foremost. Secondly
he is a phenomenally brave man clearly
dedicated to bettering his people by
writing the truth about, and thereby
exposing the Palestinian control-by-
threat of (seemingly) all other
Palestinian journalists. That he
persists in this endeavor makes him
much admired today, and ensures his
being revered tomorrow by his people
for having the real courage – not
the word "courage" so often bandied
about by Western journalists whenever
they write something that, G-d-forbid
ruffles a few feathers here in the USA.
Hopefully he will inspire other
Palestinian colleagues to follow in
his footsteps despite the obvious
danger to themselves and more
importantly, to their families.

A final note on Mr. Toameh’s indictment
of foreign journalists (i.e. Western
journalists). Hopefully his comments
regarding their knowing use of biased
sources and information should, in an
ideal world, shame those Western
journalists who so proudly tout their
"journalistic ethics".

Khaled Abu Toameh writes what the right wing Jerusalem post want him to write. He is actually smart and knows what to note and what to ignore. Those who look for Khaled Abu Toameh's byline to get the low down on what's really happening within Palestinian society need to reconsider their views.

I heard him speak this past summer. It was very informative, he blamed many of the Palestinians problems on their poor leadership and their leadership, who in order to change the focus of their bad leadership (this also applies to countries like Jordan) blame Israel and the Jews, inciting violence to avoid coups. In this cycle of the Palestinian hatred and misinformation, Israel cannot do much. He says Israel must wait for a competent leader to make a real peace. For now, he said, Israel should attempt to make reconciliations with poorly treated Israeli-Arabs who receive less funding and government discrimination.

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