Palestinian political methodology: Create own problem, then demand world save you
Marwan Barghouti, mastermind of much of the violence of the Second Intifada, got away relatively easy.
He “only” was sentenced to 5 life sentences for murder, plus 40 years for running a terrorist organization. He was charged with much more, but in his public civilian court trial, the Israeli judge only found him guilty of charges for which there was definitive proof.
You can read the judicial finding of guilt here.
But Marwan Barghouti isn’t just a murderer, he’s also a liar.
And the lies about his personal history and those of his fellow terrorist prisoners were deceptively displayed in The NY Times yesterday, as I wrote, NY Times gives Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti platform to announce hunger strike.
Among the deception were not just Barghouti’s words, but how the NY Times described him in the bio line:
After an uproar, the Times added some clarification, but even that obfuscated by noting Barghouti refused to participate in his defense, making it seem as if he had a viable defense but just didn’t present it.
The hunger strike is not really about prison conditions, but over Barghouti’s personal political ambitions, which as we noted in an earlier post, include succeeding Mahmoud Abbas as President of the Palestinian Authority, Terrorist Serving Multiple Life Sentences for Murder May be Next Palestinian President.
Avi Issacharoff notes in The Times of Israel, Marwan Barghouti’s great gamble:
The strike is a political step, carefully planned and organized by Marwan Barghouti, the Fatah leader who is determined to demonstrate to all concerned his mastery, both in skill and stature, of Palestinian politics.
Barghouti, imprisoned since 2002 and sentenced by a civilian Israeli court to five life terms for orchestrating murderous terrorism during the second intifada, has not been a particularly outspoken personage when it comes to Palestinian prisoners. He has remained inactive in the campaigns for prisoners’ rights over the last 15 years, and has resisted any pressure to join other Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons in solidarity.
So what happened? What led the Fatah leader to launch such a bold move?
The answer, in all likelihood, lies in his disappointment with the current Fatah leadership, and especially the movement’s octogenarian chairman, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who have worked hard to minimize his influence in its top echelons.
The NY Times Op-Ed was a critical part of Barghouti’s political strategy, which depends on outside attention, Issacharoff further notes:
It’s been nearly two decades since Barghouti played the part of the infamous Tanzim chief surrounded by loyal and ruthless gunmen. He is now 58, a grandfather, and an operator who has the active support of a wide network of people outside the prison’s walls. On the day the hunger strike was launched, an op-ed, ostensibly penned by him, was published in the New York Times in which he explains why he called the strike. That is to say, the op-ed, as with a host of other actions taken outside the prisons to support the strike, was meticulously prepared ahead of time with the explicit purpose of generating maximum support not only among the Palestinian public, but also internationally.
Israel has taken steps to isolate Barghouti and others after the announcement, and says there will be no negotiations, as ABC News reports:
Israel will not negotiate with hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who launched a hunger strike to press for better conditions, a government minister said Tuesday, adding that the organizer of the protest has been placed in solitary confinement.
Almost on cue, the Palestinian leadership is demanding that the world intervene to “save” the hunger strikers from their own hunger strike:
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called on the international community to “intervene quickly to save the lives” of the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who earlier in the day launched a mass hunger strike to protest their conditions of imprisonment.
This is classic Palestinian political methodology. Create a problem, then demand that the world save you from the problem you created.