NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC is outraged at Facebook's treatment of the respected journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, whose reports from the Middle East have been published in leading newspapers around the world.
Toameh's Facebook account was suspended after a campaign of online vilification and even threats against him, and when public protests convinced Facebook to reverse course and reinstate the account, his postings about corruption in the Palestinian Authority were removed.
"How ironic," commented David Harris, AJC executive director. "The whole point of Facebook is to encourage the communication of ideas. Now Facebook allows itself to be used by those who want to censor what is happening in the Palestinian Authority."
In the recent piece that apparently triggered the wave of anger that led to Facebook's action, titled "The Palestinian Authority's Inconvenient Truths," Toameh reported that dozens of Gaza Christians who arrived in the West Bank to celebrate Christmas asked to move to Israel since they no longer wanted to live under Palestinian rule, and that many Christian families from East Jerusalem have moved into Jewish neighborhoods for the same reason. Furthermore, he noted that the PA arrests people simply for criticizing the Palestinian leadership, and that tens of thousands of PA civil servants in Gaza are paid to stay home and do nothing.
Toameh concludes the article by saying, "Western journalists, funders and decision-makers who deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict need to know that there are many truths being completely ignored or hidden from their eyes and ears." AJC urges Facebook to cease acting as an accomplice in the suppression of Toameh's right to express himself, to issue an apology, and to restore all of his postings.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee