26 November 09
Jerusalem Post columnist Khaled Abu Toameh takes a critial look at the way Barghouti's regarded:
Unlike many in the Western media, Palestinian journalists and writers have rarely - if ever - referred to Barghouti as a "charismatic" leader or as the "Palestinian Nelson Mandela." Cynics and conspiracy theorists in the Palestinian territories go further by arguing that Barghouti is actually part of a US-Israeli scheme aimed at turning him into the next leader of the Palestinians. To back up their argument, they ask simple questions such as: Since when does Israel allow a security prisoner to give media interviews or hold meetings with Israeli, Palestinian, European and American officials in his prison cell?
Undoubtedly, Barghouti is respected by many Palestinians. Yet, this is not because he's the Palestinian Nelson Mandela or Salah Eddin - the Muslim warrior who drove the Crusaders out of Jerusalem - but because he's sitting in Israeli jail.
If the Palestinians themselves don't view Barghouti as a Mandela, why does the MSM keep spinning it that way? The most recent example of this comes from Irish Timescorrespondent Michael Jansen, who writes:
He is seen by many Palestinians as their Nelson Mandela.
Don't tell me how Barghouti's perceived, show me how Barghouti's perceived. Get a fresh man-on-the-street quote from one of the "many Palestinians."
There's always the possibility of judging Barghouti in his own words, since he's Israel'smost-interviewed security prisoner these days. Talking to Corriere Della Sera, he left open the option of violence.
Of course, that doesn't jive with the Western media's rosy perception of Barghouti . . .
Read Toameh's full column.
Related reading: Barghouti Is No Mandela