Khaled Abu Toameh
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|Khaled Abu Toameh|
Tulkarem, West Bank
Abu Toameh writes for the Jerusalem Post and for the New York-based Gatestone Institute where he is a Senior Distinguished Fellow. He is a producer and consultant for NBC News since 1989. His articles have also appeared in U.S. News and World Report, the Wall Street Journal, World Tribune, Sunday Times, Daily Express, the Palestinian daily Al-Fajr and other newspapers.
Khaled Abu Toameh was born in the West Bank city of Tulkarem to an Israeli Arab father and a Palestinian Arab mother. He grew up in the Arab-Israeli town Baqa al-Gharbiyye. He received a B.A. in English literature from the Hebrew University and lives in Jerusalem.
Khaled Abu Toameh started working at the official Palestinian daily Al-Fajr where he eventually became one of the editors. He subsequently worked as a senior reporter for The Jerusalem Report.
Since 2002 Abu Toameh reports for the Jerusalem Post on Arab affairs. Since 1989 he has been a producer and consultant for NBC News. He has produced several documentaries on the Palestinians for the BBC, Channel 4, Australian, Danish and Swedish television.
Abu Toameh has served as a lecturer with the University of Minnesota – School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He has also lectured at the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), as well as the London-based think tank Chatham House.
Abu Toameh has spoken at the House of Commons of the United Kingdom by invitation. He was a keynote speaker at the 2009 annual conference of the Canadian Association of Journalists in Vancouver. He has spoken on the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and prospects for peace in the Middle East at university campuses throughout the U.S. and Canada. A series of his talks have been sponsored by StandWithUs, and he spoke at their annual conference in Los Angeles in 2008.
In August 2011 Abu Toameh was invited to speak at the Sydney Institute in Australia on the challenge of Palestinian state-building. Two days later he also gave a talk on "Human rights challenges in the Palestinian territories" at a seminar organized by The Australian Human Rights Centre.
Views and opinions
Abu Toameh is a staunch defender of freedom of speech and has criticized the Palestinian Authority for arresting and harassing Palestinian journalists in the West Bank. He said it has become impossible for an independent Arab journalists to work freely in the Palestinian-controlled territories of the West Bank.
In December 2011 Abu Toameh met in Jerusalem with Georgia State Elected Officials and briefed them on the current developments in the Middle East and the peace process.
In the Durban Review Conference, Toameh criticized Israeli Arab Knesset members for supporting extremism and calling Israel a "state of apartheid" rather than fighting for the rights of Arab citizens of Israel.
Abu Toameh is not only condemned but is sometimes threatened. He says however that more threats are coming from outside the Middle East than from within the Palestinian Authority and that rather uniquely those that threaten him do not question his reporting but rather want him to shut up.
Facebook account incident
Following publication of his 2013 article "The Palestinian Authority's Inconvenient Truth", which is critical of the Palestinian Authority, the author's Facebook page was temporarily deactivated. It is unclear whether Facebook's action was taken in light of official complaints from the Palestinian Authority and Jordan or because other users flagged the posts as offensive. Facebook reactivated his account but removed his article about the Palestinian Authority's corruption. Subsequently Facebook issued an apology for the deletion of his article, calling it "an employee's error".
In response, Abu Toameh wrote in an op-ed that many journalists in the Middle East are forced to use Facebook to publish work that their own media will not accept. He also said that "It is the duty of Facebook and Western societies to side with those seeking freedom, and not to be complicit in suppressing their voices". In the same article he decried the recent arrests of journalists and bloggers that were critical of the Palestinian Authority's leadership in their Facebook pages.
Recognition and awards
On May 10, 2011, Khaled Abu Toameh won the Hudson Institute Award for Courage in Journalism.
Abu Toameh is the 2013 recipient of the Emet award given by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).
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