Group: Punish MK Who Met With Top Terrorist

A Palestinian child stands in front of a mural of Marwan Barghouti . Photo by Kobi Gideon / Flash 90.
A Palestinian child stands in front of a mural of Marwan Barghouti. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

Legal rights group Im Tirtzu (the Israel Law Center) has asked Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Knesset Ethics Committee Chairman Yitzchak Vaknin and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to immediately sanction and punish United Arab List MK Yossef Jabbarin over a visit he made to top Arab terrorist Marwan Barghouti, who is serving several life sentences for his role in the murder of Jews.

According to Im Tirzu’s Alon Schwartzer, the visit by Jabbarin is “a black mark in the Knesset and in the annals of the State of Israel. Jabbarin has long forgotten that his job is to serve the Israeli public, not the interests of terrorists.” Schwartzer said that “the time had come” for the Knesset to do something to prevent incidents like this. “I call on the Arab public and on Arab MKs, to disassociate themselves from Jabbarin. These activities harm the interests of Israelis, and the integration of minorities into it.”

Barghouti, 56, was sentenced to five life sentences in 2002 after being convicted of multiple murder and attempted murder charges for attacks carried out by the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades on Israeli civilians and soldiers during the Second Intifada. He is considered one of the founders of “Tanzim,” one of Fatah’s armed terrorist factions, and has continued to exert great influence within the party even from prison.

In October, Barghouti wrote an op-ed for the British Guardian newspaper from his Israeli prison cell, in which he provided rationalization for Palestinian knifing and murder terror attacks against Jews. “The real problem is that Israel has chosen occupation over peace, and used negotiations as a smokescreen to advance its colonial project,” wrote Barghouti. “Every government across the globe knows this simple fact and yet so many of them pretend that returning to the failed recipes of the past could achieve freedom and peace…. We cannot coexist with the occupation, and we will not surrender to it,”

Barghouti wrote, among other things, without mentioning the incitement to destroy Israel and kill Jews that has typified “this new Palestinian generation [that] has not awaited reconciliation talks to embody a national unity that political parties have failed to achieve, but has risen above political divides and geographic fragmentation.” Earlier this year, Barghouti was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by Adolfo Perez Esquivel, an Argentinean architect who won a Nobel Prize in 1980.

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