Yediot (English): Government Officials Recommend: Free Barghouti
Itamar Eichner - Yediot Achronot - June 10, 2005
Translated from Hebrew by Justice4JP.
The leader of the Tanzim, Marwan Barghouti, is supposed to remain in an Israeli prison for the rest of his life. Except that recently it seems that top Israeli officials are in fact recommending to the Government to consider releasing the terrorist who was convicted of murdering 5 Israelis.
This recommendation appears in a secret document which was recently given to senior ministers in the security cabinet. The recommendation was made by senior government officials who are in charge of the Palestinian issue.
The authors of the document feel that Barghouti will continue to play an important role as the leader of the younger generation of Fatah, and that the demand to release him will also raised with Israel in the future, and with even greater stridency. For this reason, they recommend considering at some point along the way, under proper and appropriate circumstances, releasing the leader of the Tanzim. In their opinion, a move such as this would be likely to advance the Israeli interest of carrying out reforms in the Palestinian Authority.
Barghouti has gathered around him, a group of young Fatah activists whose influence is growing stronger in the Palestinian public. The document's authors postulate that a rare confluence of interests between Israell and the young Fatah activists has been created in two areas: the demand to hold free and democratic elections for a Palestinian parliament, and the desire to make reforms in the Palestinian Authority.
The Prime Minister's office has not read the document. "It is a shame it was ever submitted. Barghouti will not be released, Period," Sharon's people insist. "The man was convicted by a court of law and there is no reason to release him."
In November of 2004, in a speech marking his 20th anniversary in prison, Jonathan Pollard stated that the Government of Israel has been grooming Marwan Barghouti as the next leader of the Palestinian Authority, and that it fully intends to release him in the near future. At the time, few people took Pollard seriously. Most were stunned by the notion of Israel setting a convicted murderer and terrorist up as a leader. Now Yediot Achronot confirms Pollard's predictions as the Israeli public begins to be treated to news items such as the above to get them ready for Barghouti's release.
The Prime Minister's office may continue to say no, but the Prime Minister himself will continue to say nothing, until it is time to release Barghouti. Thus he will not have to contradict any previous statements. Justice4JP urges readers to mark Pollard's words and watch the Barghouti headlines. When Barghouti is released, remember, you heard it here first.