It's the kind of despotic mechanism over which the more scheming among Western politicians drool. Sure, they've become masters of distraction. But to be able to silence all criticism outright? That's the dream of those whose only true agenda is clinging to power.
Generally, such practices are confined to truly authoritarian regimes. But there's at least one supposed democracy where it's routinely practiced. What's truly astonishing is that said "democracy" is the pet state-building project of the international community, and, consequently, the recipient of overwhelming per-capita financial aid.
Yes, the "enlightened" world is effectively paying the Palestinian regimes (plural) to suppress their people, because...why? For our own amusement? Not but a fool would still actually believe that this experiment in democracy-planting is working.
Just ask 26-year-old Gazan journalist and activist Amer Balousha. He doesn't live in what most of us would consider a democracy (putting out ballot boxes does not a democracy make, as many a Middle Easterner can tell you). In fact, quite the opposite.
Bankrolled by Western nations that still hold to the fantasy of "Palestine" as a free and open Arab society, and therefore a genuine peace partner for Israel, the powers that be have arrested Balousha no fewer than three times this year alone.
And what heinous crime did this young man commit to deserve such attention? Well, his latest offense was to post to Facebook his pondering over whether or not Gaza's rulers must, like him and the rest of the vulgar masses, suffer through the summer heat absent the luxury of air conditioning.
That's it. Simple criticism of the Hamas regime's mismanagement of its quarrels with Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt, and the disastrous effects of it on the coastal enclave's economy.
Balousha was charged with "Misuse of Technology," which sounds more like an accusation one would level at a child for using a laptop as a snowboard.
In other words, it's a charge that's as ludicrous as it sounds. But it's also indicative of a reality in the Palestinian-controlled territories that the rest of the world is doing its best to cover up and ignore so as to avoid damaging the "Palestinian cause."
However, and once again, this raises the question - if all evidence points to the Palestinian cause resulting in nothing but another unstable and oppressive Arab dictatorship, then why stick with it?
And the answer, of course, is the Jews.
PHOTO: Issa Amro, a prominent Palestinian activist and founder of Youth Against Settlements, is detained by Palestinian police in the West Bank town of Hebron on September 7, 2017, after he was detained for criticizing the Palestinian Authorities arrest of a journalist on social media. Amro's detention was extended for another 24 hours, while the prosecution called for him to be charged for "causing strife", Farid al-Atrash from the Independent Commission for Human Rights said. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)