Imprisoned Fatah boss Marwan Barghouti will become the Palestinians’ next leader, Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer recently told Haaretz.
…Ben-Eliezer said that he believed that “there is no reason to become alarmed” by the possibility that Barghouti will be released from the Israeli prison system, where he is serving five consecutive life sentences for terrorist activities.
In case anyone is unclear, the ‘activities’ mentioned were the murders of four Israelis and a Greek monk.
Barghouti is the author of the “prisoners’ document” which is touted as a charter for a moderate Palestinian Authority, but actually simply calls for unity between Fatah and Hamas in the struggle with Israel, and does not call for an end to violence against Israelis.
This comes up every few months, usually when some Labor MK calls for his release. Apparently there is a point of view that any ‘peace’ agreement with the Palestinians, even a bad one that cannot result in peace, even an agreement with a Palestinian leader such as Barghouti with gallons of Jewish blood on his hands, is better than no agreement.
Ben-Eliezer says over the past months he had realized Barghouti is probably the best partner Israel has with whom it can hope to achieve a breakthrough in negotiations with the Palestinians.
Indeed. There is no better partner because there is no reasonable partner, but the idea, possibly born in the USA, is that — partner or not — an agreement must be reached.
According to Ben-Eliezer, Barghouti enjoys considerable sway over the situation in Palestinian Authority from within the Hadarim prison facility.
The minister says Barghouti’s pull extends to the preparations for the U.S.-sponsored regional peace summit Washington intends to hold in November.
That’s it, then. The Americans say there must be a ‘summit’ (somehow, and I shudder to speculate how, this is supposed to help with Iraq) and there must be an agreement, regardless of the consequences. The Palestinians, understanding this, will not play unless they get what they want, and this is one of the things they want.
“We have to find a suitable opportunity to release Barghouti, and we have to link it to the release of Gilad Shalit,” the minister said.
It’s not possible to release a quintuple murderer in return for a hostage. Israel needs to apply the death penalty to terrorist murders to prevent such situations.