There’s a double entendre here. What I am referring to IS sick, as a way of thinking. And it makes me quite sick to my stomach, as I am guessing it will many of my readers. Sick, because I’m swallowing rage.
The Jerusalem Post reports on “growing support in the Cabinet and the Knesset” for the release of Marwan Barghouti. Why? Because he’s now been elected to the Fatah Central Committee and stands a chance to become Abbas’s replacement.
As far as I can see, this “growing support” comes primarily from members of Labor, who are indeed in the coalition, and members of Kadima, who are opposition members in the Knesset.
Are we surprised by this? We shouldn’t be. But get a load of the argument from Minority Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman:
“In light of the election results, we must consider releasing him in order to create a moderate and strong political leadership among the Palestinians.”
To create a moderate leadership???
Barghouti was sentenced in 2004 to five life terms for his involvement in the murder of five Israelis and a Greek monk. He gave orders, and, according to the court, “was responsible for providing the field units with money and arms….” And that was just what we got him on — his involvement with terrorism was far more extensive than this. In 33 other cases he was not convicted because of lack of evidence of direct involvement, which doesn’t mean that he wasn’t involved, but rather that he distanced himself sufficiently even though he helped and sanctioned.
Barghouti helped to found, and led, the Tanzim, a terrorist group associated with Fatah, which during the Intifada was responsible for some 50% of the terrorist attacks being inflicted upon Israel. Tanzim militia was responsible for the attack at a bat mitzvah party in Hadera, during which six were killed and over 30 wounded. Israeli security services firmly established at the time that Barghouti knew of the attack in advance, and give it his blessing.
While he denied it, evidence is strong that he also had significant connections to the terrorist Al Aksa Brigades, which in 2002 claimed him as their leader. Some of the most vicious terrorist attacks were committed by this group.
Put simply, according to Avi Dichter, who spoke in his role as Director of the Shin Bet in 2001, Barghouti was in charge of the ongoing terrorist war against Israel.
In an interview in the New Yorker in July 2001, Barghouti declared that if he received a complete withdrawal of Israel to pre-’67 lines, he would still seek “bigger things: one state for all the people.” By this he meant that he does not seek coexistence with Israel, but rather Israel’s disappearance as a Jewish state.
Barghouti provided an interview with an Arab paper, Al Hayat, on September 29, 2001, in which he described his role in igniting what is called the Intifada (the terrorist war, actually), that began in 2000, ostensibly in response to the presence of Ariel Sharon on the Temple Mount. I have his words, which describe his role in inciting the people.
In an interview in Haaretz in November 2001, he stated that for him Ramallah and Tel Aviv are the same.
Before his sentencing, Barghouti said, “I am a proud Palestinian leader and I oppose the Israeli occupation, it is my duty to do so. What do you want? For us to cooperate with the Israeli occupiers? We will never live doing that.”
From his prison cell he has promoted unity with Hamas.
You will not hear this elsewhere, so it is imperative that you hear it from me. This is the “moderate” that some very sick Israelis think we should free, because he’s charismatic and the Palestinians love him. And this is the man that –as sure as I breath — the Americans and the EU will “encourage” us to release, so that the “peace process” can be advanced.
Wake up! Precisely WHY do the Palestinians love him? And what does it say about our presumed negotiating partner that they DO embrace him?
Do we lower ourselves this much? To embrace such a man and cut him slack?
Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor), who promoted release of Barghouti previously, is reported to have said now that Barghouti is the only one who can bring the Palestinians to a final deal with Israel. And what sort of deal would that be? What sort of state would the Palestinian state headed by Barghouti be?
Why are some among us so hungry for a deal that they would see Israel reduced in this fashion? I care less than nothing about how “charismatic” Marwan Barghouti may be. He should never see the light of day again.
If there is justice in Israel — that is not subverted by politics — he will not.
Let’s help make certain that there is justice in this regard.
For now, I want to propose contacting members of the government here, whose information I provide below. These are people who, in the main, are likely to hear what you say, and several of whom would agree with you (Barak probably being a prime exception, but someone who should be contacted). Express your outrage, ask them to make sure they do not make concessions here but, rather, to do everything possible to block release of Barghouti. Briefly explain why. Speak about the necessity for justice.
As we see signs of encouragement from Obama’s government or the Congress that we release Barghouti, I will encourage voices to be raised there, as well.
As always, talk to people and write letters to the editor, as well, please! It’s simple. Say: here’s the truth about the man being promoted as a “moderate” and possible successor to Abbas as president of the PA. Here’s the truth about what the PA is really like, that this is the sort of man they endorse. Cite a few of the facts I have provided, and oppose his release.
Here in Israel, share this broadly with others, please.
All phone and fax numbers from the US: 011-972, then drop the “0” and proceed with the rest of the number.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud)
E-mail: email@example.com (underscore after pm)
Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon (Likud)
Fax: none provided
Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Labor)
Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas)
Minister Benny Begin (Likud)
Fax: none provided
National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beitenu)
Fax: none provided
Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkovitz (Habayit Hayehudi)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beitenu)
Minister of Information Yuli Edelstein (Likud)
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud)
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud)
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beitenu)
Fax: none provided
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov (Yisrael Beitenu)
Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver (Yisrael Beitenu)
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Labor)
Communication Minister Moshe Kahlon (Likud)