Friday, February 18, 2005

Is Abbas Changing the Culture?

The Jerusalem Post has a disquieting article about Mahmoud Abbas. Link.
In the first decision of its kind since he succeeded Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ratified death sentences against three Palestinians found guilty of "collaboration" with Israel. (...)

(S)enior PA officials told The Jerusalem Post that the three were Gaza Strip residents who had been convicted of "high treason" for tipping off Israeli security forces about the whereabouts of wanted gunmen. (...)

According to Amnesty International, some of the defendants were sentenced to death by firing squad after an unfair trial. (...)
Trials are often summary, taking place before military judges, and there is no right of appeal," the group said in a statement.

There is something incongruous about claiming to want peace with Israel and executing people for cooperating with Israel. Also, Abbas appears to be making a point by doing this as one of his first official duties. One of the complaints about Arafat was that his speeches in English called for peace, while his speeches in Arabic called for terrorism and continued struggle. This action bears a disturbing similarity.


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