May 2, 2012 | Quote

Middle East Non-Leadership

In the meantime, our claim to the moral high ground evaporates. Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies comments on Obama’s inconsistency in the region when it comes to democracy and support for human rights. He notes that “the White House issued an executive order to stop technology companies from helping Iran and Syria commit human rights abuses. The two countries have become what members of Congress have called ‘zones of electronic repression,’ where the regimes use modern technologies to crush those seeking democratic reforms. “ But then Obama turns a blind eye elsewhere::

Obama is missing an opportunity to promote positive change in a government over which the United States has much more leverage: Mahmoud Abbas’s increasingly repressive fiefdom in the West Bank.On the same day as the White House issued its executive order, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported an explosive story detailing how Palestinian officials have “quietly instructed Internet providers to block access to news websites whose reporting is critical of President Mahmoud Abbas.”

This wasn’t a rogue operation. All signs suggest the order to shut the website came straight from the top. The Ma’an article, citing a Palestinian official, claims that Palestinian Authority Attorney General Ahmad al-Mughni personally delivered the order but that he “was acting on instructions from higher up in the government — either from the president’s office or an intelligence director.”

Read the full article here.


Palestinian Politics