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PORTSIDE  March 2012, Week 4

PORTSIDE March 2012, Week 4

Subject:

Jailed Palestinian Leader Calls for New Civil Revolt Against Israel

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Date:

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 22:26:07 -0400

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Jailed Palestinian Leader Calls for New Civil Revolt
Against Israel

    Marwan Barghouti declares peace process dead
    and appeals for non-violent resistance

By Catrina Stewart 
The Independent (UK)  
March 28, 2012

Jerusalem

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/jailed-palestinian-leader-calls-for-new-civil-revolt-against-israel-7593525.html

Marwan Barghouti, the jailed Palestinian leader seen as
a favoured successor to President Mahmoud Abbas, has
declared the death of the peace process and called for
a civil revolt and a severing of all ties with Israel.

Serving five life terms in an Israeli jail, Mr
Barghouti's prison cell appeal is likely to resonate
deeply within Palestinian society, where many are
profoundly disillusioned with the current leadership's
failure to wring concessions from Israel and end its
decades-long military occupation.

"The launch of large-scale popular resistance at this
stage serves the cause of our people," said Mr
Barghouti, who enjoys huge support across the
Palestinian political divide.

"Stop marketing the illusion that there is a
possibility of ending the occupation and achieving a
state through negotiations after this vision has failed
miserably," he said in a message read out to supporters
in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

His call for non-violent resistance comes amid a
stagnating peace process, and as Palestinians prepare
to mark an annual protest against Israeli land policies
on Friday with marches across the occupied West Bank
and Gaza, as well as on the Lebanese and Syrian
borders.

Sometimes described as the "Palestinian Nelson
Mandela", Mr Barghouti, convicted in 2004 for
orchestrating a deadly bombing, is highly influential
among Palestinians, who see him as a unifying figure
able to bridge the bitter divide between political
parties Fatah and Hamas that has hampered efforts to
negotiate with Israel. Many Israelis also support him,
seeing him as a pragmatist who has indicated he would
recognise a Jewish state alongside an independent
Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders.

In his message, marking a decade of incarceration, Mr
Barghouti said that the peace process has led nowhere
under the leadership of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu, whose right-wing coalition has supported the
expansion of Jewish settlements across the West Bank, a
policy widely viewed as the greatest barrier to a two-
state solution. "It must be understood that there is no
partner for peace in Israel when the [Jewish]
settlements have doubled," Mr Barghouti said. "It is
the Palestinian people's right to oppose the occupation
in all means, and the resistance must be focused on the
1967 territories."

Mr Barghouti was arrested by Israel in 1978 for
membership of an armed group and jailed for four years,
during which time he learned Hebrew. Exiled in the late
1980s for leading West Bank resistance in the First
Intifada, or uprising, he returned to his homeland only
after the signing of the Oslo peace accords in the
mid-1990s.

He entered politics upon his return, and used his
position to fight against the corruption in Yasser
Arafat's government, a crusade that earned him
adulation on the street. When the more violent Second
Intifada erupted in 2000, Mr Barghouti, then leader of
Fatah, emerged as commander of its armed wing, Tanzim,
propelling him to greater prominence. After his arrest
in 2002, he was tried for killing 26 people, but
eventually convicted for a bombing that killed four
Israelis and a Greek monk, earning him consecutive life
terms in prison that would ensure he would not be freed
unless pardoned.

Mr Barghouti's supporters had hoped he would be
included in a prisoner swap deal last October for Gilad
Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Gaza-based
militants five years previously, but Israel reportedly
refused on the grounds that his case was "political".
Israeli President Shimon Peres has, however, indicated
that Mr Barghouti would be released if elected
Palestinian leader.

Mr Barghouti's call to end all economic and security
co-operation with Israel and work towards
reconciliation is also likely to strike a chord among
Palestinians, whose common complaint is that they have
received no reward for ending terror. 
____________

End Cooperation With Israel: PLO Leader

    Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghuti has
    urged the Palestinian Authority to "end all
    forms of coordination" with Israel in a letter
    to mark 10 years since his arrest

AFP
March 27, 2012

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/37819.aspx

In the letter, which was published late on Monday,
Barghuti also called on Palestinian president Mahmud
Abbas to recognise that negotiations with Israel were
not working. "I call on the Palestinian Authority to
end all forms of coordination, security and economic,
with the occupation," wrote Barghuti, who is serving
five life sentences for his role in anti-Israeli
attacks.

"The job of the Palestinian security services is to
provide security and protection to Palestinian
citizens, not to protect the occupation," said the man
widely recognised as the driving force behind the
second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, and who still
commands great respect among Palestinians.

The letter also called on Abbas to "stop marketing the
illusion that it is possible to end the occupation
through these negotiations."

Barghuti said the Palestinians should not enter
negotiations without a commitment by Israel to halt
settlement construction, and use the lines that existed
before the 1967 Six Day War as a basis for talks on
future borders.

Abbas has insisted on the same conditions, but Barghuti
said he should also call for "the release of all
Palestinian prisoners in the occupation's prisons." A
lifelong activist who supported the Oslo peace process
in the 1990s, Barghuti is widely believed to have
masterminded the second Palestinian intifada that
erupted in 2000.

He was arrested in April 2002 and two years later was
handed five life terms for his role in several deadly
anti-Israeli attacks. Barghuti has since said he never
supported attacks on civilians inside Israel and in
recent years, has thrown his support behind peaceful
resistance.

In his letter, he called on the Palestinians to back a
"combination of resistance and diplomacy," repeating
his support for "popular resistance" and for the
Palestinian bid to become a full member of the United
Nations.

"We must affirm the absolute right of our people to
resist occupation in all ways, and in the way
appropriate to the situation -- and at this stage,
popular resistance serves our people," he said.
___________

Jailed Leader Calls for New Revolt

By Noah Browning
Reuters
March 27 2012

http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=263548

REUTERS

Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, centre, is
accompanied by Israeli prison guards after a
deliberation at Jerusalem Magistrate's court, in this
January 25, 2012 file photo.

Ramallah, West Bank - From his cell in an Israeli
prison, one of the Palestinians' most revered figures
called on Monday for a new wave of civil resistance in
their decades-long quest for statehood and for severing
all ties with Israel.

Marwan Barghouti is a leading figure in the Fatah
movement. His leadership and charisma were seen as a
driving force behind the Palestinians' last intifada,
or uprising, against the Israelis launched in late
2000.

His views continue to have deep currency with the
Palestinian public and he enjoys wide support across
the contending array of Palestinian factions. It is
widely speculated that Israel might at some point
release Barghouti.

"The launch of large-scale popular resistance at this
stage serves the cause of our people," Barghouti said
in a statement commemorating the tenth year of his
imprisonment by Israel.

"Stop marketing the illusion that there is a
possibility of ending the occupation and achieving a
state through negotiations after this vision has failed
miserably," he said in a message read to a crowd of
supporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Despite his multiple life sentences on charges of
orchestrating lethal attacks and suicide bombings,
Barghouti is viewed as a potential successor to
President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also Fatah's leader.

The call to action comes at a combustible period in the
West Bank, land occupied by Israel since a war in 1967,
as economic malaise, moribund diplomacy, and simmering
popular discontent bode ill for any peaceful
breakthroughs.

Some fear that planned Palestinian commemorations of an
annual protest against Israeli land confiscations on
Friday, including marches to Jerusalem, could erupt in
violence.

A 40-day long hunger strike by a female detainee and a
similar campaign by dozens of other Palestinians in
Israeli custody are also firing popular anger.

In his address, Barghouti called for "stopping all
forms of security and economic coordination [with
Israel] in all areas immediately," which would upend
years of often volatile but persistent coexistence
between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, while
lending rhetorical support to protests and pursuing
recognition in various bodies of the United Nations,
has until now cleaved to a more moderate and non-
confrontational policy.

After Abbas's government scored a minor victory in
persuading the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva to
investigate Israel's settlement policy, Barghouti
argued for more drastic action.

He called for "a renewal of efforts" to achieve
recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN Security
Council, an effort which failed last year when
Washington backed Israel's rejection of the resolution
as a unilateral move to sidestep negotiations.

Barghouti said that the Palestinians should take their
statehood case to the General Assembly or other
agencies as an alternative, alluding to forums in which
the Palestians have wider support.

___________________________________________

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