لقد حان الوقت لإطلاق سراح
مروان البرغوثي, لقد حاول مروان
إقناع الإسرائيليين أن ينهوا
احتلالهم من خلال المفاوضات
of the leaders of the Palestinian people has been
incarcerated for approximately five years now in Hadarim
Prison, in central Israel. The time has come to release
him. For years, Marwan Barghouti has tried to persuade
Israelis to end the occupation through negotiation. He
has gone from one Israeli party headquarters to the
next, meeting with politicians across the political
spectrum. He tried to persuade them in order to preempt
the next confrontation.
failed, the second intifada broke out, and he himself
turned to the path of violent struggle. After going
underground for months, during which he still tried to
address the Israeli public through its own media,
Barghouti was arrested in April 2002 and prosecuted. He
was sentenced for five life terms in prison, plus 40
is doubtful whether arresting and prosecuting him was
diplomatically wise, but there is no doubting the
political wisdom of releasing him.
his years in prison, Barghouti has acted to restrain the
armed struggle and bolster his people's moderate
leadership, using envoys to achieve this goal. Barghouti
never left his native West Bank, never took to the
habits of power characteristic of the Palestine
Liberation Organization leadership in Tunisia. He became
a popular leader - especially in the West Bank, and to a
lesser degree in the Gaza Strip.
history - including Israel's - has known national
leaders who turned to violence and were jailed for
years, until they were released to become political
leaders who marched their peoples toward independence
peacefully. Nelson Mandela is one such example. The
leaders of the Zionist undergrounds in prestate Israel
are another. Now, Barghouti's turn has come.
Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra deserves
praise for speaking in favor of releasing Barghouti.
Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer did not rule out the
moderate leadership is in a serious crisis. Israel's
interest calls for its consolidation, albeit after
outrageous delays, and no one matches Barghouti's
ability to achieve that. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's
promises in Washington that Israel would be willing to
take "far-reaching" measures to assist the
Palestinian Authority's emergency government must be
backed by immediate action. Releasing prisoners is the
first step one should demand of anyone who promises such
Israeli government should have long since helped
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to govern
his people. Among other measures, it should have done
this by allowing him to bring home real achievements.
Releasing prisoners, Barghouti among them, could serve
to change the atmosphere between Israel and the
Palestinians in a heartbeat. It would prove the
sincerity of Israel's statements regarding its intention
to turn over a new leaf and bolster the moderate forces.
The issue of prisoners who have been jailed for years
holds extreme importance for Palestinian society. Any
Palestinian leader who would succeed in bringing about
their release will receive instant and widespread public
prime minister's statements must not remain empty words
- especially not now, when a practical opportunity for
dialogue with a moderate Palestinian leadership has
presented itself. Now that Gaza has fallen into Hamas'
hands, no effort should be spared in the attempt to
salvage the West Bank from extremists. Barghouti as a
free leader could greatly assist in achieving that.
لهذه المقالات لا يعني أنها
تعبر عن وجهة نظر المركز كلياً
من حق الزائر الكريم أن ينقل وأن ينشر كل ما يعجبه من موقعنا . معزواً إلينا ، أو غير معزو .ـ