Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Abbas asks Egypt to pressure Qatar to stop Al Jazeera's leaks

Burning an Israeli flag with "Al Jazeera" written on it
Here's a nice glimpse into how Arab leaders think.

Egyptian newspaper al-Mesryoon is being quoted as saying that Abbas asked Egypt to intervene with Qatar in order to stop what he considered an attempt to tarnish the image of the Palestinian Authority before Arab public opinion, despite the fact that he has briefed all Arab countries on all developments in negotiations with the Israelis at all stages.

Sources reported that Egypt expressed support for the position of the Palestinian Authority in seeking ways to contain the crisis.

An Egyptian official, Rakha Ahmed Hassan, told the newspaper that Arab parties, including Egypt, might intervene in order to prevent the escalation of tension between Qatar and the PA.

The implication, of course, is that there isn't even a pretext of freedom of the press in the Arab world. It is simply common knowledge that a government can dictate what any newspaper may or may not publish.

But it's a cultural thing. To criticize it betrays Western imperialistic thinking about non-Arab concepts such as "freedom."