Arab leaders criticised for attending Paris rally

Arab leaders criticised for attending Paris rally
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and King Abdullah of Jordan accused of hypocrisy after attending anti-terrorism march in support of Charlie Hebdo.
3 min read
Abdullah (left) and Abbas were criticised as hypocrites [Getty]

Mahmoud Abbas has been criticised for attending a mass rally in Paris in solidarity with those killed in events linked to the attack on the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

The Palestinian president was mocked for his participation in the Sunday event, which was also attended by the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, while failing to condemn terrorism against the Palestinian people.

"One of the ironic wonders of Palestinian politics is that Mahmoud Abbas is taking part in an anti-terrorism rally in Paris, while banning any Palestinian rallies against the terrorist Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip", said political analyst Fayez Abu Shamala on Facebook.

Rami Abdu, the director of the Euro-Mediterranean Observatory for Human Rights, posted on his page: "A president whose people die in hundreds as martyrs ... is visiting Paris. He's joining Netanyahu the criminal to offer condolences for France for the victims of the condemned Paris attack, but he never helped a hungry child, suffering from the cold, in Yarmouk or Gaza.

"He never gave a hand to a martyr’s family or paid a visit to the home of a martyr, a prisoner or a wounded person."

Adnan Abu Amer, a professor of political science at the al-Ummah University in Gaza, added: "Our esteemed president is going to France to offer condolences. What about the 2,200 martyrs in Gaza? Didn’t they deserve your condolences? What can I say? I’m speechless! Someone please say something."

Jordan's king draws fire

King Abdullah received similar criticism from activists who took part in Jordanian protests calling for reform at home.

Activist Abdullah Mahadin, of the Jordanian Youth Movement, said on Facebook: "Rather than expressing solidarity with millions of victims of western-led terrorism killed by airstrikes, bombs, and drones, the king opted to express solidarity with 12 upper-class Frenchmen who died in Paris.

     As a Jordanian national, your solidarity with Charlie Hebdo does not honour or represent me.
- Abdullah Mahadin, of the Jordanian Youth Movement

"Hundreds of protests were held in Jordan against Zionist and American terrorism. So you decided to leave them all and headed to France? As a Jordanian national, your solidarity with Charlie Hebdo does not honour or represent me."

The pro-Islamic Reformist Movement activist Hisham al-Haysa said on Facebook: "King Abdullah will participate in a huge Paris rally to show solidarity with victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting a few days ago. People will hold signs reading "We are all Charlie."

He mocked the king's non attendance at a rally in Jordan over the Israeli injustice. "Remember how the king was at the forefront of a street protest that took off from the royal court 10 days ago in solidarity with al-Aqsa mosque."

On his Facebook page, Activist Khaled Al-Ayasira asked: "What if the king participates in the Paris anti-terror rally, and the protesters raise anti-Islam posters or one of the participants gives an anti-Islam address, should the king withdraw?"

According to the AFP news agency 45 foreign leaders, including heads of states, prime ministers and representatives of international organisations are expected to take part in this demonstration.

This is an edited translation of the original Arabic.