The leaders of the Palestinian Authority do not want the international community to hear anything about massive abuse of human rights and intimidation of journalists that its security forces are practicing almost on a daily basis in the West Bank.
They [the PA] want the U.S. and the rest of the world to continue believing that peace will prevail tomorrow morning only if Israel stops construction in the settlements.
The Palestinians do not need a dictatorship that harasses and terrorizes journalists, and that is responsible for the death of detainees in its prisons. In the Arab world we already have enough dictatorships.
The Palestinians do not need additional security forces, militias and armed gangs. In fact, there are too many of them, both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
American and European taxpayers' money should be invested in building hospitals, schools and housing projects. Investing billions of dollars in training thousands of policemen and establishing new security forces and prisons will not advance the cause of peace and coexistence.
There is no doubt that many Palestinians would love to abandon the culture of uniform and weapons in favor of improved infrastructure and medical care.
As for the international media, it's time to abandon the policy of double standards in covering the Israeli-Arab conflict. For many years, the mainstream media in the US and Europe turned a blind eye to stories about financial corruption under Yasser Arafat. The result was that Arafat and his cronies got away with stealing billions of dollars that had been donated to the Palestinians by the Americans and Europeans.
Recently, a Palestinian TV crew working for Al-Jazeera was stopped at a checkpoint in the West Bank, where soldiers confiscated a tape and erased its content.
This incident hardly received any coverage in the mainstream media in the U.S. and Europe. The reason? The perpetrators were not IDF soldiers, but PA security officers at a Palestinian checkpoint.
Walid Omari, the head of Al-Jazeera's operations in the West Bank, told Reporters Without Borders that his crew was preparing a report on the death of a detainee at the PA detention center in Hebron that might have been the result of torture.
More than 700 Palestinians are being held without trial in West Bank prisons run by security forces loyal to PA leader Mahmoud Abbas.
These security forces are referred to by many Palestinians as the "Dayton Forces," a reference to U.S. security coordinator Gen. Keith Dayton.