Silencing Freedom of Expression : Arresting A.Qassem is a crime

I have to say that I am still in a state of anger of what happened in the past day with the arrest of Prof. Abdel Sattar Qasem, the political analyst, and lecturer from Najah University.

Qassem is one of the few Palestinian critical voices that are known with their transparency and patriotic views and position. He is direct, and his articles have been along the years a breath of freedom of expression or the population. He says things as they are and seems fearless.


As things are just going into deterioration beyond the current decline … things can only get worse.

As if it is not enough what people suffer each day from executions and oppression by the Israeli occupation. As if this cynical status of corruption and loss of direction on all levels within the Palestinian author that include political, governmental, economic, social and judicial levels. They really expect the people to shut up and watch the inferno we are all burning in and thank them for the heat.

It is not that freedom of expression has been widely open, and now we are feeling the oppressive attitude. It has existed. People have been jailed and silenced from both sides. Some people, warning me softly, have approached me, on a personal level. I have received warnings from people. Being a lawyer will not serve me. Knowing what the law allows or doesn’t also won’t actually help. I could be a bit of luckier being Jerusalemite. It is not actually safer, but it is less damaging.

What happened with Dr. Qassem yesterday went beyond the acceptable. It is the war launched against him by Palestine TV. The national Palestinian broadcasting agency. Which can also tell what can follow on this.

The story began when Qasim said in an interview on Al-Quds TV (belongs to the enemy-Hamas) that the president is not legitimate since he has been elected for four years and it has been long overdue. It is something that has been said and continues to be said, and it is not a secret. It is not a forbidden statement.

The other statement that he said, which made the whole eruption that started the war against him, was when he said that the Palestinian basic law, as well as the PLO’s revolutionary law, states unequivocally that collaborators with the enemy should be persecuted to the death penalty. He confirmed that there are ten articles that explain this in the PLO law. This is also not a secret. At the end this is law. It is written. He didn’t bring it from hidden or classified files. He didn’t invent it. And it is also basic. We could agree or disagree with the harshness of such persecution. But yet, usually, traitors, collaborators, spies are sent to harsh persecutions, as well as public present and humiliation.

Qassem, like many if not most Palestinians, refuse the security coordination between Israel and Palestinians, and it has been a lengthy discussion in the streets, as well as a loud cry asking to cut that coordination because it has only brought more destruction and limitations to Palestinians lives.

One could argue about the broadness of this statement. It is true as well that Palestinians lack the proper knowledge in this whole setup of the Oslo context. I don’t think it’s fair to say that the coordination is all wrong. That it brought full destruction. I don’t believe it is even fair to say that Oslo was horrible.

It was of course. But the real problem has been and still is, the mismanagement of the Palestinian Authority or the situation. Israel is not a serious peace partner. This is not a secret as well. Actually, it is no partner at all. Especially when we talk peace Israel wants peace or its people, and the Palestinians got stuck in maintain peace to Israelis, and they slipped along the way from the peace of their own citizens.

What the headlines decided on the statement of Qassem was that he called on a TV station (that belonged to the other-Hamas) for the assassination and killing of the president and the security apparatus leaders.


He actually never said that.

He said that the law states that traitors, collaborators, spies… should be executed. And he asked why aren’t they applying the law.

He never said that the president and his security apparatus leaders are traitors.

This should say a lot with no further comments …

But …

It also didn’t stop there. The mobilizing against Qassem went as far as calling for his excommunication as a Muslim. What he did in the call for the killing is a public call for chaos Fitna, which means he is a kafir, which according to Sunna and Sharia he should be executed.

Who said that? The minister of religion and Waqf.

Where was that? On the Palestine TV. The PA official TV.

In a time where we as well, as a country and a globe terrorized by the final language of fundamentalism that is fragmenting and slaughtering people all over and around us.

In a time when we in Palestine are killed and oppressed and jailed and humiliated by an occupation that systematically is trying to ethnic cleanse us. In a time when we as a nation are shamelessly fragmented into two fractions that the people feel disgusted and shamed from. In a time when we need anything that brings us closer together. Our kids, children, brothers, husbands, mothers, sisters are killed without mercy. Our youngsters are grabbed or jails. Our prisoners are dying in hunger strikes for their freedom.

These people dare to ignite a fire on whatever is left of this nation?

What happened by jailing Qasem is a crime. A violation of fundamental human rights that we Palestinians continue to blame Israel for and ask the world to support us with. What should we tell the international community? What should we tell Israel?

Israel kills our children thinking that its crimes against us are nothing in comparison to such offenses committed by Arabs against Arabs in the neighboring areas.

How can we blame Israel for its crimes when the pa commits the same crimes?

And if shutting the voices that criticize is a crime that we should not allow and accept.

The call for takfir is a bigger crime. That should not be allowed.

Those who are standing behind this should be persecuted and are the ones who should be shut down with their apparatuses and voices.

I hope Abu ؤazen stop this mess and call for elections … before the inferno of living will include us all.

We are a nation that desperately strives for liberation.. a liberation of yet a worse occupation that each day is growing bigger than that’s of the military occupation


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