Two weeks ago I wrote of a reported attack against me and my family – detailed on Bloomberg and in The New York Times – by the government of Qatar, which presumably seeks to destroy me and visit vengeance for my efforts to expose its terrorism-funding of Hamas.
State-sponsored efforts to hack into our private emails and information were reported, so as to make us tremble before Qatar and presumably its multi-million-dollar lobbyists, including Orthodox Jew Nick Muzin and his partners, who, according to The Wall Street Journal, organized a well-financed influencing campaign among Jewish leaders to whitewash Qatar. The New York Times also reported that Muzin, in an apparently recorded conversation, threatened critics of Qatar to “be very careful.” Anyone Muzin pointed to was “in danger.... Honestly, I know they are after you...,” the Times reported him saying.
After the barbaric story of Jamal Khashoggi and his horrific murder at the hands of Saudi agents, we can see a growing campaign on the part of Middle Eastern governments to intimidate, frighten and ultimately neutralize prominent critics. This sometimes takes the horrendous form of cutting people’s bodies into pieces and sometimes – less barbaric but likewise criminal – they attempt to cut people’s reputations into pieces in order to terrify them into silence.
In 2009 I openly fought Muammar Gaddafi’s plans to move into the home immediately next door to me in a well-publicized campaign. People told me to fear for my life. Now, as I fought Qatar for financing the murder of Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, I have faced growing threats.
It is not enough for me to tell my family that we dare never fear evil. Rather, the American government must hunt those who have threatened and attacked us and bring them to justice, including their enablers – many discredited “pro-Israel” leaders who took millions of dollars from Qatar and may have even participated in the attacks against me and my family.
IT IS often said that the litmus test for a decent government lies in just a single question: Can its citizens be brought into its custody and just “disappear”?
Numerous governments have failed this test, routinely apprehending the very citizens they are meant to protect before meting out brutal interrogations and extrajudicial killings, often topped off with a crude disposal of the victims’ bodies.
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During World War II, Nazi Germany dispatched secret police forces to hunt down known or suspected dissidents – a tactic aptly termed Nacht und Nebel (Night and Fog) to describe the darkness that surrounded the victims’ sudden disappearance.
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union earned a brutal reputation for summoning or detaining men and women, only for them to then disappear forever. Argentina’s military juntas were especially notorious for their practice of taking detained citizens aboard aircraft before casting them to sea. It is thought that between 1976 and 1983, up to 30,000 people were killed or disappeared, earning them one of history’s most haunting names: los desaparecidos — “the disappeared.” In Iran, this seems to be a problem on repeat: following riots in 1999, 2003, 2009 and even this year, hundreds of Iranian protesters – most of them students – were detained, with dozens vanishing.
JUST LAST week the Palestinian Authority caused a man to disappear, this time an American citizen. A Palestinian-American who, according to Arab-language media reports, is named Isam Jalal Akel, was discreetly apprehended by PA police. The PA did not disclose the arrest to the Israeli military and police commanders, as required. Even the American Embassy wasn’t informed of the arrest, though the man holds an American passport.
His “crime”? He had done business with a Jew. He had been involved, it is alleged, with the sale of a home in east Jerusalem to a Jewish buyer, and in the morally skewed universe of the PA, that is a capital crime.
The concept of killing a man for doing business with a Jew was first put into force by the Jordanians in 1948. From there, it would be incorporated into the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s legal code in 1979, which enforced the penalty of execution on any of those “traitors” caught “transferring positions to the enemy,” referring to any sort of land or real estate. PA President Mahmoud Abbas elucidated that this included any act of “diverting,” “selling,” or even just “renting” a property. As for the “enemies”: that refers to “an enemy state or one of its subjects,” which refers explicitly to Jews. The law has been reaffirmed by Palestinian officials on several occasions, in 1973, 1979, 1997, 2010, 2014 and 2018.
This kind of Jew-removal economics goes back farther than the PLO or the Jordanians to a series of laws enacted in Nazi Germany in late 1930s set to prevent business dealings between Germans and Jews. The “Decree of the Confiscation of Jewish Property,” passed in October 1938, regulated the transfer of assets from Jews to non-Jewish Germans, ensuring that Jews owned nothing in Germany. On December 11, 1938, Hitler took things further with “the Regulation for the Elimination of Jews from the Economic life of Germany.” With Jews increasingly cut out of German life, Hitler would take things even further, killing Jews by the millions to achieve his hellish dream of a “judenrein” Europe.
From the fact that Abbas recently assured his captive populace that “in a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands,” it seems clear he is serious about bringing judenrein policies to the state of Palestine.
The PA has only twice judicially executed those convicted of selling a property to a Jew, and Abbas said in 2014 that although still a clear-cut capital crime, those engaged in real estate dealings with Jews would be punished with life imprisonment with hard labor. But Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi noted on the record that any such “traitors are destined to die a humiliating death.”
So the PA still kills such property owners and brokers, but through unofficial means.
Following the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian leadership was finally given the tools needed to kidnap those suspected of dealing with Jews. In 1996, the newly minted PA security forces were accused by Israel of kidnapping and killing alleged land dealers.
The next year, Amnesty International reported that “dozens of those suspected of selling land to Jews were arrested and... held without charge or trial.... Torture during prolonged incommunicado detention of this group has been systematic,” the report went on, adding that “extrajudicial killings by the PA targeted those... allegedly involved in selling land to Jews.”
That year, the disappearance of 70-year-old Farid Bashiti, accused by the PA of selling a property to Jews, made international headlines. His family was told by Palestinian officials that he died in a car accident, but was found bludgeoned to death, with his hands cuffed and skull crushed. The Palestinian minister of justice, Freih Abu Middein, gloated over the fact that “everybody now realizes the danger of selling land to a Jew.”
It is now up to the United States to protect its citizens from murder by Middle Eastern tyrannical governments, and to send a strong message that harming an American citizen for simply speaking out will be met with the full fury American justice.
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