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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Is a Jordanian writer about to be killed? (UPDATED)

 (UPDATEDMudar Zahran is a Jordanian writer of Palestinian descent who has written some articles that have raised the eyebrows of many Arabs.

One of his more controversial articles was this excellent op-ed in the Jerusalem Post from last August.

MANY OTHER Arab countries are no different than Lebanon in their ill-treatment and discrimination against the Palestinians. Why do the media choose to ignore those and focus only on Israel? While the security wall being built by Israel has become a symbol of “apartheid” in the global media, they almost never address the actual walls and separation barriers that have been isolating Palestinian refugee camps in Arab countries for decades.

While Palestinians targeted by the IDF are mostly fighters pledging war on Israel, the world swiftly overlooked the Sabra and Shatila massacre in which Lebanese Christian and Shi’ite militiamen butchered thousands of Palestinian women and children. Unsurprisingly, the international media accused Israel of being responsible for the massacre, despite the fact that live testimonies aired by Al-Jazeera satellite television a few years ago show massacre survivors confirming that IDF commanders and soldiers had nothing to do with the killing.

The demonization of Israel by the global media has greatly harmed the Palestinians’ interests for decades and covered up Arab atrocities against them. Furthermore, demonizing Israel has been well-exploited by several Arab dictatorships to direct citizens’ rage against Israel instead of their regimes and also to justify any atrocities they commit in the name of protecting their nations from “the evil Zionists.”

This game has served some of the most notorious Arab dictatorships, and still does today, as any opposition is immediately labelled “a Zionist plot.”
An earlier JPost article more directly attacked his country's discrimination against Palestinian Arabs:
This lack of political and legislative representation of Jordanians of Palestinian heritage has been enforced by decades of systematic exclusion in all aspects of life expanding into their disenfranchisement in education, employment, housing, state benefits and even business potential, all developing into an existing apartheid no different than that formerly adopted in South Africa, except for the official acknowledgement of it.

The well-established apartheid system has created substantial advantages for East Bankers who dominate all senior government and military jobs, along with tight control of security agencies, particularly the influential Jordanian General Intelligence Department, all resulting in tribal Jordanians gaining superiority over their fellow citizens of Palestinian heritage.

The fact that East Bankers have done very well under the current situation provides motive for Jordanian officials to maintain the status quo and work on extending it; especially as the helpless Palestinian majority has no say and very little it can do against such conditions.
That article got Zahran into trouble. From Ammon News (Jordan):
An uproar of criticism against Mudar Zahran's op-ed entitled "Jordan, Dr. Peace and Mr. Apartheid" published in the Israeli "Jerusalem Post" newspaper on Sunday led the writer to contact 'Ammon News' editor-in-chief to relay his "apologies" to the Jordanian people over claims he made in the op-ed describing Jordan as an "apartheid state" in its treatment of Jordanians of Palestinian heritage.

In a letter sent to 'Ammon News,' Zahran relayed his apologies to the Jordanian people and stressed that he will not repeat this 'mistake.'

"I would like to inform you of the following decision: I have decided to announce today, and after my latest article in The Jerusalem Post, that I will not publish any articles or reports in any language related to Jordanian domestic or foreign affairs," he wrote in his letter.
Now, he might be in serious trouble. His new Facebook status is:

Here I am, with the possibility of getting killed by the Jordanians, possibly living my last hours or days, with not many interested people in my case... if I get killed, just please all be informed, it has happened on the orders of King Abdullah II of Jordan and nobody else.
I will be away for some time, if you do not hear from me again guys, please be assured...I was sincere and I cared for all.
Mudar


A screenshot of his Facebook status:

I can't find any details on any threats or arrests, but this is very frightening news coming from Jordan.

(h/t Folderol)

UPDATE: Here is what Mudar wrote on Facebook answering a question:

Ahoovah, following an appreance last week on Aljazeera, in which I said we ARabs can only wish our secuirty agencies can treat us like the Mossad does to the Palestinians, and that the Mossad does not hurt or beat up its own citizens like Arab counterparts do, and that the Jordanian intellogence opressed the Palestinians, threats ame in the form of articles: "Mudar, security agencies know your secrets and even where you have coffee in London" Ammon News, "Mudar, a man gets assasinated from where he thinks is safe, death follows you wherever you go". Al-Maenhah News....keep in mind, countless threats were made on my life including one made to my directly on offical media in Jordan by a Jordanian Intelligence major, calling for my head to be chopped off in the UK.