Why is this man still a member of the Knesset?

Tibi with an old friend

Ahmed Tibi with an old friend

MK Ahmed Tibi, from the UAL-Ta’al (United Arab List) party, visited the convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti in jail yesterday, calling for the release of this brave “freedom fighter”.

“Marwan Barghouti is like the Palestinian people; he’s unwilling to surrender to the Israeli occupation,” Tibi said following the visit. “Barghouti said that he and the other inmates are maintaining high spirits.”

MK Tibi also met Karim Yunes, one of the most veteran Arab prisoners, who has been in jail for some 30 years following the murder of an IDF soldier.

“Barghouti told me that the sanctions adopted against Palestinian prisoners in the wake of the Shalit abduction are still in place and were not lifted, even though the swap was completed,” the Knesset member said.

Cry me a river. They should never have had any benefits beyond bread and water and basic medical care for the crimes they committed.

Following the visit, MK Tibi called for Barghouti’s release, characterizing him as a “freedom fighter.”

“He is struggling for the sake of the Palestinian people and his place is among the Palestinian political leadership and not behind bars,” the Knesset member said. “His natural place is out of prison and not in it. All peace and liberty champions should endorse his release.”

I have few expectations of Ahmed Tibi, who although he must have declared allegiance tot he State of Israel when he became a member of the Knesset, has shown very little of such over the years of his activity.

Amir Peretz, as blind as he looks in this picture

Amir Peretz, as blind as he looks in this picture

However I expected more from Labour MK Amir Peretz, former Defence(less) Minister during the 2nd Lebanon War, who visited Barghouti last week and also called for his release:

He explained that Barghouti would help the Palestinian Authority uphold a peace treaty with Israel.

The Labor MK, who has visited Barghouti several times since he resigned from his role as defense minister in 2007, said that “today, the Palestinian leadership needs diplomats and statesmen, such as [President Mahmoud] Abbas, but they also need people like Barghouti, a brave man who has grassroots support on the Palestinian street.”

I am still trying to decide whether statements like these confirm Peretz’s treachery, ignorance or delusional idiocy. Maybe all three.

Just to remind my readers who is Marwan Barghouti and what was he convicted of, here is a short bio:

1. Marwan Barghouti Served as Secretary General of Fatah in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, a member of the Palestinian legislature, head of the Tanzim, and the founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades which has carried out a large number of deadly terrorist attacks killing scores of Israelis and wounding hundreds.

2. In the framework of his activities, he has received large amounts of funds from different sources both inside and outside Israel. Among these sources is the Palestinian Authority. The specific allocations of these funds were authorized by the actual signature of Yassser Arafat. These funds were used by Marwan Barghouti to finance many activities carried out by terror cells in the West Bank.

3. Marwan Barghouti served as the most senior official in the Al-Aqsa Brigades. Nasser Avis, who was recently captured in Samaria, and Ahmed Barghouti, who was Marwan Barghouti’s personal assistant, reported directly to him. These two served as his operational officers and, under the initiative of Marwan Barghouti, launched dozens of attacks, including a large number of suicide bombings within Israel.

4. The following are some of the more heinous terror attacks for which Marwan Barghouti is responsible:

  • Jun 12, 2001 – The murder of a Greek Orthodox monk on the road to Ma’ale Adumim.
  • Jan 17, 2002 – The shooting attack during a bat mitzva celebration at a banquet hall in Hadera. Six Israelis were killed in this attack, 26 were injured.
  • Jan 22, 2002 – The shooting spree on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem. Two Israelis were killed, 37 wounded.
  • Feb 25, 2002 – The shooting attack in the Jerusalem residential neighborhood of Neve Ya’acov. One Israeli policewoman was killed, 9 Israelis were wounded.
  • Feb 27, 2002 – The murder of an Israeli at a coffee factory in the Atarot industrial zone of Jerusalem.
  • Feb 27, 2002 – The suicide attack perpetrated by Daryan Abu Aysha at the Maccabim checkpoint in which two policeman were injured.
  • Mar 5, 2002 – The shooting spree at the Tel Aviv Seafood restaurant. Three Israelis were killed, 31 wounded.
  • Mar 8, 2002 – A suicide terrorist was killed in Daheat el Barid as he was on his way to carry out an attack in Jerusalem.
  • Mar 27, 2002 – The interception of an ambulance and the confiscation of an explosive belt which was being smuggled from Samaria into Barghouti’s terrorist infrastructure in Ramallah.Marwan Barghouti was also directly responsible for operating the terrorist cell of Raed Karmiin Tulkaram which carried out a series of deadly terrorist attacks.

Freedom fighter indeed.

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8 Responses to Why is this man still a member of the Knesset?

  1. Margie in Tel Aviv says:

    The basic difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is the identity of their targets. Barghouti by this definition, targeting the innocent and the unarmed, is a terrorist and not fit to be called a freedom fighter or a grassroots anything, except perhaps a snake.

    It may be that he is the one candidate who can unite the splintered Palestinian street but if so that says so much about them that is negative that taking them into consideration is not worthwhile.

  2. Earl says:

    Deleted at request of author.

    • anneinpt says:

      Earl, I’m not sure where you got that information from. I was sure that Amir Peretz on the contrary did stay in Sderot, his hometown, at least when he wasn’t on duty in Jerusalem.

      I’m certainly no fan of Peretz and think he was a terrible defence minister and as trades union leader caused no end of damage to Israel’s economy. But according to this article, for example (there’s a mention in Time Magazine too), Peretz slept in Sderot whenever he could:

      Every night, Amir Peretz returns to his home in Sderot. Sometimes there is a small demonstration of residents waiting near his house, demanding his resignation. Sometimes it is quiet. In the morning, he wakes up with the Kassam rockets.

      • Earl says:

        That’s not at all what I was reading at the time.

        That said, if true, I unreservedly withdraw the statement and ask that you delete it.

        • anneinpt says:

          I’ve not heard anything to the contrary. Perhaps you read it about some other MK? I’ll delete it for now. If you ever find anything to back up your opinion I’ll be glad to reinstate your comment.

  3. Andrea says:

    I always had difficulties in understanding the reasons why Barghouti achieved such a credit even by some Israelis. Some years ago, maybe five or six, I happened to see him on an Israel TV channel . In spite of the fact he was in face of judges waiting for being sentenced, he was surronded by Israeli lawyers and political activists all trying to shake his hands – then after the same Israeli channel broadcasted an interview to Mr Barghouti and his wife, a lawyer as well, if I remember well.
    TV reported that he learned hebrew in jail and he had a good knowledge of Israeli culture and history . At the time I was not following Middle east issues that much and all this attention left me the impression he was a reputable palestinian leader. An Israeli friend of mine enforced my beliefs by saying that Barghouti was a brilliant speaker and a great negotiator during Oslo’s days (I fear now it was Jewish humor like on a brothers Cohen’s movies ).
    Some weeks ago I had the chance to read on the net his opinions about “the way how IDF was dehumanizing Israeli youth” and again israeli readers gave him a lot of attensions.
    I let you imagine my astonishment when I read his “curriculum vitae” – more or less the same you reported above.

    It is really difficult to me to understand Barghouti and in the same time Israeli press and politicians. Do not get me wrong – I am not blaming your country , on the contrary -.
    I can see the reasons why you are strongly disappointed and I honestly think you are perfectly right. In the same time I am fully aware that your mood will not change if I say that these attentions on Barghouti are the best evidence that his words on “dehumanization of Israel” were completely without sense. But again this does not comfort you that much, I can understand.

    • anneinpt says:

      Andrea, I agree with your astonishment at Israel’s “idolization” of Barghouti. It is beyond explanation for me. I simply cannot understand how some Israelis can be so impressed by him. Perhaps it’s a form of Stockholm Syndrome?

      Many times we see that people in the “peace camp”, i.e. the left (as if the right do not want peace) are so eager – too eager – to find a negotiating partner on the other side. So if they find a Palestinian who sounds civilized, can speak Hebrew and understands Israeli culture, they are sure that he is The One.

      Whereas of course, he’s just another terrorist in a suit.

      As the saying goes, “there are none so blind as those who do not wish to see”.

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