An Arab man with deep ties to America dissented against an authoritarian Middle Eastern regime. As a consequence, he was held captive, reportedly beaten, and his life may be over.
No, his name is not Jamal Khashoggi. Unlike Khashoggi, this man is a U.S. citizen. And he was not consorting with or propagandizing on behalf of Islamists, but enraging them by consorting with America’s closest ally in the region.
While Issam Akel has not been made a cause celebre, perhaps he should be. An American resident of East Jerusalem, Akel was arrested by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in October 2018 and sentenced to life in prison with hard labor for allegedly committing the mortal sin of “selling a house to the enemy in Jerusalem.” . . .
The details of Akel’s plight are characteristically sketchy, but reports indicate he was either lured to Ramallah, or picked up off the street in Jerusalem by PA police, incarcerated, and potentially tortured. This was a particularly brazen act, given that Akel is a U.S. citizen, who carries an Israeli ID card that should provide him immunity from PA arrest.
In spite of all the significant threads coming together in the imprisonment and potential beating of an American by an autocratic regime for allegedly flouting an anti-Semitic law, the Western media and political class have been largely mum. There is no echo chamber lauding Akel’s putative bravery, nor haranguing Mahmoud Abbas and the PA for their brutality. There is no chorus lobbying for sanctioning the PA with the full force of the U.S. government. Rest assured, Akel’s face will not grace the cover of Time as “Person of the Year” anytime soon. (Read more from “Media Completely Ignores Isaam Akel, an American Brutalized Like Khashoggi” HERE)