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MUDAR ZAHRAN v. KHALED ABU TOAMEH Controversy

Reader comment on item: Why Israelis Shy from Victory

Submitted by Robert (United States), Oct 12, 2018 at 13:30

Dear Daniel Pipes,

You've sided (in this article) against Mudar Zahran and in favor of Khaled Abu Toameh using at once an Ad Hominum Argument and an Appeal to Authority Argument. This is the same pair of arguments that probably my favorite journalist, Caroline Glick, uses. Essentially, it runs like this: (1) Toameh is a highly respected ("bright and brave") and widely known journalist. (2) Zahran said bad things about Toameh thereby discrediting himself.

Here's how you put it, succinctly:

"That's a delicate way of saying that Zahran permanently discredited himself by attacking the brilliant and brave Khaled Abu Toameh." – Daniel Pipes

I don't deny that such arguments have probabilistic value (not certainty). However, the same kinds of arguments, in this case, can be used to defend Zahran, as follows.

Born in 1963, has KHALED ABU TOAMEH has 161 hits on your web site, on your affiliated institution, Gatestone, there are 645 posted article under his name.

On the other hand, 1973- MUDAR ZAHRAN, born in 1973, Here is his image on your wen site (you posted it while supporting him years ago):

http://www.danielpipes.org/pics/new/large/1347.jpg

Hand here's the relevant article by him which you read and quoted: "Is Jordan the Hashemite-occupied Palestine?" https://www.jpost.com/printarticle.aspx?id=288855

He only has three (3) hits on your Web Site, the same as his Israeli side-kick who supports him, TED BELMAN.

Furthermore, it is to be noted that Toameh's Father is an Israeli Arab while his mother is a Palestinian. On the other hand, Zahran is a Jordanian Palestinian.

Using a similar kind of probabilistic (strictly speaking, logically invalid) I would conclude that both suffer from a Conflict of Interests and reflect the prejudices of their respective demographics.

But since you are interested in Israel's VICTORY, I ironically suggest you that you put your money of Zahran instead of Toameh. I imagine that it's likely that Toameh is even your personal friend, because he's been so vocal in his criticism of the Palestinian Human Rights Violation, and lack of freedom of the Press.

But I wonder if John Bolton, a former Administrator of "your" Gatestone Institute think tank, will also be prejudiced against Zahran because of respect for Zahran, I assume to have been his "colleague."

What I would like you to observe, however, is that Zahran reflects a version of "Jordan is Palestine" thesis for years, and has been interested in the majority of Palestinians in Jordan as opposed to those in the West Bank (I wonder if the Black September catastrophe affected Zahran to be prejudiced against the PLO?).

On the other hand, JOHN BOLTON has known to have voiced support for Regime Change; apparently, Belman and Zahran advocate the removal of the Hashemite (Saudi) Monarchy, claiming support not only by the Jordanian Palestinian majority, but also by the Jordanian Arab tribes, against only the Hashemite Tribe and dynasty. It seems there's an advocacy for a (relatively Bloodless) Coup (as succeeded in Egypt under Nasser).

I wonder why it didn't occur to the pair - Zahran & Belman - to advocate for a Constitutional Monarchy? I speculate that they do not believe Arabs are ready for Constitutionalism which wouldn't lead to the Moslim Brotherhood taking over.

The real question is whether or not Zahran and Belman have any support in Jordan, and whether or not Bolton has also decide Zahran to be out because he doesn't get along with Toameh.

I would like you to read Zahran's Arabic articles posted online and determine if he has a following - something which Journalist Glick didn't do (I don't know if she reads Arabic). But Glick's own distancing from Zahran is based not only on Hearsay, but she didn't even bother to name the three (3) individuals who phoned her,separately and BADMOUTHED Zahran as lacking backing and credibility, although Zahran has been allegedly convicted of Treason, and there's a concerted effort to silence him by Jordan's security apparatus, including alleged possible assassination, if not arrest.

But simply telling me effectively that you don't like Zahran because he had a "divorce" from Toameh, and you choose to side with Toameh, doesn't convince me that this will lead to an Israeli Victory. And the reason for that is that Toameh is a strong supported of a version of the Three-State-Solution, while Toameh is only known (to me [Wikipedia]) to support Freedom of the Press, and Human Rights of Arabs in Israel and Palestine. I also suspected that Zahran is a (self-created) "public relations" "Palestinian Trump" not necessarily in a good way, especially, if it can't work in his context.

So once again, I ask that you do a search of Zahran's writings in Arabs, and make an effort not to be biased against him because of your immense admiration for your colleague Toameh. You could perhaps learn to live with both while liking Toameh style. I know how hard this may be for you because I know your intense ambivalent feeling for the personality Trump.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Thank you for the suggestion, but I know enough of Mudar Zahran to have reached a conclusion.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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