A former Swedish minister for Culture holding his photograph, a group of Belgian MPs suggesting his name for the Nobel Peace Prize, the New York Times running his articles. Who is the great personality worthy of all these honors? A serial killer of Israeli Jews: Marwan Barghouti. Israeli security cameras just filmed him eating during a political hunger strike.
He is the Palestinian terrorist who the Western television love to show handcuffed, the arms raised, the fingers in victory sign. He is serving five life sentences. Yet, Marwan Barghouti is an idol, a hero, an icon, an apostle. His name is everywhere, not only at Qalandiya’s checkpoint, next to the words “Marwan Barghouti will be released” in Arabic, English and Hebrew. His name is also on many French streets.
Following are some of the terror attacks for which Marwan Barghouti is responsible:
– June 12, 2001 – The murder of a Greek Orthodox monk.
– January 17, 2002 – The shooting attack during a bat mitzvah celebration at a banquet hall in Hadera. Six Israelis civilians were killed.
– January 22, 2002 – Shooting spree on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem. Two Israelis civilians were killed.
– March 5, 2002 – Shooting spree at the Tel Aviv Seafood restaurant. Three Israelis civilians were killed.
And Marwan Barghouti belongs to the US-EU-UN backed “moderate” Palestinian forces, Al Fatah, as does the new mayor of Hebron, Tayseer Abu Shneineh, elected to head the biggest Palestinian city despite the fact that he murdered seven Jews in 1980.
Marwan Barghouti’s anti-Semitic group selected its targets in Israel very carefully, to cause as much destruction and pain as possible. One terrorist in Rishon Lezion massacred a group of elderly Jews who were enjoying the cool air on the patio. Then targeted were shopping malls in Efrat, pedestrian areas in Hadera, bus stops in Afula, train stations in Nahariya, pizzerias in Karnei Shomron, nightclubs in Tel Aviv, buses full of students in Gilo, bars and restaurants in Herzliya, and cafes in Haifa.
But despite these attacks, the Guardian published Barghouti’s editorial supporting the Third Intifada. This was because Barghouti is an enemy of Israel even smarter than Hamas: he enjoys an immense popularity in Europe. The Western press loves him and always compares him to Nelson Mandela. The New York Times last month published Barghouti’s oped with no reference to his life sentences and additional 40-year term. A biographical sentence at the end of the article simply said, “Marwan Barghouti is a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.” A former UK Defense Secretary, Michael Portello, compared Barghouti to Che Guevara.
Take a look at this list of titles. “The Question of Barghouti: Is he a Mandela or an Arafat?” (Time magazine). “Il Mandela palestinese” (Italian news agency, 30 May 2005); “Mandela” (The Observer, 29 November 2009); “il Mandela di Ramallah” (Italian daily La Stampa, 13 August 2010); “A Mideast Mandela” (Newsweek, 28 July 2003) and “A Nelson Mandela for the Palestinians” (Herald Tribune, 24 September 2002). Here there is no other lesson to learn: the killing of Jews is celebrated and romanticized.
France has declared Barghouti an Honorary Citizen eight times since 2009, and at least 20 more French cities have done so as well. French cities, such as Vitry-sur-Seine, La Verrière and Montataire, have granted honorary citizenship to this terrorist and plastered their streets with his disgraceful name. The Italian city of Palermo, targeted by mafia attacks, also awarded Barghouti honorary citizenship. In the French city of Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, a photograph of the Palestinian terrorist was hung on the front of its city hall. Last year, just two days after two ISIS terrorists ritually sacrificed a Catholic priest by slitting his throat on the altar of his own church as he was celebrating Mass, France again bestowed the title of Honorary Citizen upon Barghouti. It is not a coincidence that as France celebrates people like Barghouti, Jews are leaving en masse; they live in fear and have been gunned down at schools and supermarkets.
In Italy, parliamentarians of the Democratic Party participated in a forum demanding the release of Barghouti at the headquarters of the European Union in Rome. Amnesty International is asking for his release. Barghouti has been able to turn himself into a charismatic figure of sacrifice and abnegation capable of commanding a revolution from behind bars, thanks to the global liberal media and the Western political establishment. In 1987, Barghouti was deported to Jordan. Only in 1993, after the Oslo accords, did he get permission to return home. He was like a Trojan Horse for Israel. Shamefully, a part of the Israeli establishment over the years has cultivated the hypothesis of releasing him so that he could become the Palestinian leader.
But Barghouti is no “man of peace.” He is like Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 directed the hijacking of two buses that led to the murder of 37 Israelis, including 13 children; he is like Abu Dauod, the mastermind of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics; he is like Yahye Ayash, “The Engineer,” the innovative mass murderer.
Only Western anti-Semitism and moral corruption can explain the canonization of a man like Marwan Barghouti. Only Europe’s Judeophobia can lead to a terrorist being celebrated in Europe’s streets as a “liberator.” It is crazy and surreal that a terrorist who ordered the killing of innocent Israeli Jews has become a symbol of peace and a hero of the media.
Can you imagine Italian or French or Swedish mayors naming a street after Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks? It happens every day with the murderers of the Israeli people.
Giulio Meotti, cultural editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author. He is the author of three books: A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism (Encounter Books); J’Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel (Mantua Books), and La fine dell’Europa, about the Christian and demographic decline in Europe. He is a columnist at Arutz Sheva and his writings have appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, FrontPage, Commentary, and The Geller Report.
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