‘Mail & Guardian’ parrots description of Marwan Barghouti as a “political prisoner”

mail and guardianTaking the lead from pro-Palestinian and Palestinian Authority ‘news’ sites and some radical NGO’s, a few “mainstream” news publications have begun adopting the egregious misnomer “political prisoner” to refer to Palestinians convicted for their involvement in lethal terrorist attacks.

This euphemism of course distorts the clear meaning of a term widely  understood as referring narrowly to those imprisoned merely for their political beliefs.  In fact, earlier in the year CiF Watch was able to gain corrections at both the Guardian and The Independent after they initially referred to the pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners (who Israel agreed to release in order to resume peace talks) as “political prisoners.”

More recently, while monitoring press coverage of Israel’s latest announcement that they will release 26 additional pre-Oslo prisoners, we noted that a major South African newspaper used this distorted term in a story about Desmond Tutu’s support for a campaign calling for the release of convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti.


Marwan Barghouti.

Note the strap line in this Oct. 27 ‘Mail & Guardian’ report:

m and g

The Mail & Guardian’s characterization of Barghouti as a “political prisoner” does nothing to inform readers that this merely represents Tutu’s rhetoric, nor does it mention the crimes Barghouti committed.  Here are the relevant passages in the Mail & Guardian report:

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Sunday threw his support behind the campaign calling for the release of imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi and other Palestinian political prisoners.

“I am proud to associate myself with the global campaign for the freedom of Marwan Barghouthi and other Palestinian political prisoners,” Tutu said in a statement.

Barghouthi has been in an Israeli jail since 2002 where he is serving five life sentences for his role in the fight for liberation in Palestine.

The Mail & Guardian fails to report that Barghouti’s “fight for liberation in Palestine” involved three terror attacks in which five Israelis were murdered, as well as his membership in a terror organization. The court in fact determined that “Barghouti was responsible for providing the field units with money and arms” and that the attacks were sometimes “based on instructions” he received personally from Yasser Arafat.

Specifically, the court found Barghouti responsible for a June 2001 attack in Maale Adumim in which a Greek monk was murdered, a January 2002 terror attack in Givat Zeev, a March 2002 attack at Tel Aviv’s Seafood Market restaurant in which three people were murdered, and a car bomb attack in Jerusalem. (Details from the original indictment, which accused Barghouti of responsibility for 33 additional murders, can be viewed here.)

As CAMERA has reported, Barghouti is also widely considered one of the main leaders in the Palestinian campaign of violence during the Second Intifada and helped found and then lead the Fatah-based militias (the Tanzim and the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades) which carried out numerous deadly suicide bombings. 

Desmond Tutu can of course say anything he’d like about Marwan Barghouti, but those who fancy themselves serious journalists have the professional responsibility to distinguish between claims that are factually based, and those which represent the agitprop of radical activists.

Whilst the Mail & Guardian may not be affiliated with the ‘London’ Guardian, their parroting of pro-Palestinian propaganda suggests at least a degree of ideological overlap.

9 replies »

  1. Of course there are the idiots on the blgosphere who pathetically (in this case literally with pathos) use the term “resistance” in connection with e.g. rocket attacks on Israeli civilian targets.
    But as you say: there can be no excusing such erroneous terminology among journalists.

    • Oh dear. We appear to have some trolls BTL who think the terms “political prisoner” and “resistance” are indeed perfectly OK in this context.

      What a bunch of sad bastards!

  2. Great article on the mass murderer Marwan Barghouti, Desmond Tutu supports.
    Free a mass-murderer for peace?
    November 24, 2011

    Why is it that when discussing politics, otherwise rational people go insane? No other field of study lures man into the depths of such muddled thinking.
    The latest outrage is the renewed campaign to free a mass murderer from prison in the name of peace. Marwan Barghouti is serving five life sentences for masterminding a series of deadly terror attacks against Israeli civilians.

    Only in the sick world of Middle Eastern politics does this make him the ideal candidate to foster peace. Ha’aretz asks, “Why did Israel miss the golden opportunity to let Marwan Barghouti out of prison? Barghouti is one of the most forceful proponents of a peaceful solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict …” Avinoam Bar Yosef recently wrote an article in The New York Times titled “Release Marwan Barghouti.” The reason? “[H]e and Tanzim [the group Bargouti helped found] represent the next generation of secular Palestinian leaders. One of the biggest mistakes of the Israeli establishment and American envoys over the past two years has been their failure to open back channels to Tanzim …”

    Wrong. One of the biggest mistakes of the Israeli establishment and American envoys of the past two decades — let alone past two years — has been their empowering of Palestinian autocrats and terrorists. The soft bigotry of low expectations, in other words. In what passes for conventional wisdom, only a man who has targeted civilians could have the credibility to lead the Palestinian people. What does this say about the Palestinian people? It is this thinking which led the West to fund and arm arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat and later his deputy.

    Releasing an unrepentant murderer from prison is a human rights concern of the highest regard. Those who yearn for peace must stand firm against any such decision. Naturally, Israelis are at the forefront of the campaign to release the Palestinian murderer. No other people would be so crazy.
    Shift the question to any other sphere, and instantly one recognizes how insane this proposition is. Want to solve financial corruption? Release Bernie Madoff and have him take over the Security and Exchange Commission! Why are we missing this “golden opportunity” to end financial corruption once and for all?

    Want to solve murder in the U.S.? Release Charles Manson and appoint him chief liaison to the New York Police Department! Only he has the “credibility” to work with law enforcement and end violent deaths.
    Concerned about domestic terrorism? Release the Unibomber, Ted Kaczynski, so he can quell terrorism against government agencies, particularly in Oklahoma.

    It is too bad the Columbine shooters are not still alive to run for office so they could lead the crack-down on school violence and prevent such tragedies in the future.

    Marwan Barghouti should not be let out of prison, for any reason whatsoever. He should spend the rest of his days pacing in his cell thinking about Fani, Maital, Udi and Nissim Dahan who will never see their father, Eli, again. Barghouti engineered the attack on two Tel Aviv restaurants which killed Dahan and several other civilians.

    Why should Barghouti enjoy the freedom that he denied Yosef Habi, who was enjoying a night out in Tel Aviv with his wife, Haya? Barghouti’s assassins first shot Haya, and then Yosef ran to her rescue shouting “Don’t shoot!” the terrorists killed him anyway. Now Yosef’s son Itzik and daughter Sima will never hug him again.

    Releasing Marwan Barghouti would pervert justice, prevent peace and make a mockery of morality.

  3. Arnold Roth who lost his daughter in the Sbarros massacre in 2001 to one of these Palestinian prisoner terrorists, wrote a great article about these Islamo Nazi prisoners.
    Op-Ed: PA Prisoners Are Hungry, But For What?
    Arnold Roth
    May 14, 2012

    Fewer (much fewer) than 1% of the Arab prisoners hunger-striking in Israeli prisons are administrative detainees. Almost all were charged, tried and convicted for the most serious offences you can think of.

    The media are filled with reports about a protest strike by Palestinian Arab prisoners and their friends. What’s it about?

    Two terms keep coming up in almost every report: the strikers are “unjustly imprisoned” and it’s a “battle for freedom and dignity”. But this is not about justice or dignity. Those key terms ought to mean something but as happens so often, they have been hijacked in the name of a vicious war and turned on their heads.

    Some of the talking heads say/scream/shout that this is about administrative detention. But fewer (much fewer) than 1% of the Arab prisoners hunger-striking in Israeli prisons are administrative detainees. Reliable statistics we have seen say there are between five and ten such individuals among the 1,500 to 2,000 hunger strikers. [The protestors estimate that overall there are about 300 administrative detainees in the Israeli prison system.]

    The two who began hunger-striking in March are men called Bilal Diab and Tha’er Halahlah who are administrative detainees, held so far for nine months and 22 months respectively. Their petition came before the High Court of Justice on Monday and was heard and rejected.

    The court pointed to the ongoing ties of the petitioners to terrorist funding and terrorism and that they are a clear and immediate security risk to Israeli citizens. It added (which is also significant) that the Israel Prison Service is meeting or exceeding the standards required by international law regarding prisoner treatment already.

    Diab and Halahlah are in fact leaders in Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The angry voices are demanding that we think of them as unjustly shunted off to prison for the equivalent of failing to pay for a television license. The media and the ranks of ‘activist’ NGOs are currently filled with such voices.

    Of the other strikers, almost all were charged, tried and convicted for the most serious offences you can think of. Hundreds are in prison for murder. Quite a number of them are unrepentant multiple murderers.

    We are tracking the online news photographs (there are many) being pumped out by the wire services to enhance the global impact of this protest. We ourselves have more than the usual amount of familiarity with some of the names and faces.

    When we look past the sad-faced mothers and the photogenic children in the foreground, what we see (and most others don’t notice) is people like Abdullah Barghouti in the posters at the back. This places the whole affair into a different perspective.

    That particular prisoner (see our post: 10-Apr-07: Regarding Abdullah Barghouti) made the bomb that stole our daughter’s life from us. He has never denied the charges against him. On the contrary, like so many jihadists, he was proud of them before he went to prison; he remains proud of them now.
    That particular prisoner, Abdullah Barghouti, made the bomb that stole our daughter’s life from us.

    He says publicly – on US television, for instance – that he will kill more Jews when he gets the chance. More than that: he regrets that the bombings he carried out did not kill more Jews. In his own unforgettable words, “I feel bad because the number is only 66″.

    Prisoners like Barghouti, and not some mythical jaywalkers capriciously locked up administratively by the vindictive Zionist entity, are the cause for whom the Palestinian Arab protestors and their many supporters are out there shouting and burning tyres. The evidence is there in front of your eyes.

    And if you ask: which editor would want to be seen fanning the flames of protest in support of a convicted psychopath like Barghouti serving 67 life terms, then a partial answer is: maybe the editors at UPI, APF, Daily Star – Lebanon, Scoop New Zealand and numerous others. Click on any of the links int he previous sentence to see pictures of hunger-strike protestors standing in front of Abdullah Barghouti’s grim portrait.

    What would you say to the people demonstrating for rights, justice and dignity for Abdullah Barghouti and the hundreds of other convicted murderous thugs?
    Is theirs the cause that gets you up every morning?

    Is the shortage of cable movie channels in their [prison] lives something that gets your adrenalin going?

  4. Apartheid’ by the black governed South Africa.
    Oct 15, 2013

    Johannesburg — Two toddlers were found dead inside a communal toilet in a South African slum north of Johannesburg on Tuesday, in another case of increasing
    brutal violence against children, police said.

    The bodies of the girls, aged two and three years, were discovered early in the morning.

    Two-year-old Yonelisa Mali and three-year-old Zandile Mali were found dead in a toilet cubicle

    Police are investigating whether the killings are linked to that of a five-year-old girl in the same area in September.
    Police suspected she had been sexually violated and strangled.

    Some parts of the squalid slum have no running water and residents share pit latrines or mobile toilets.

    South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Official crime statistics showed that around 16,000 people were killed in the year-long 2012-2013 reporting period.

    More South African black apartheid ”
    Toddler killed for soiling nappy
    October16, 2013

    First he shouted at his two-year-old son, then he picked up the slight boy and flung him to the ground.

    He did this three times.

    Theophulus Groepies had soiled his nappy.
    His father,a confessed wife assaulter, was enraged.

    The two-year-old, who weighed just 11kg and whose ribs jutted from his skinny frame, bore the brunt of his anger. Thirteen days later, Theophulus was dead. At
    first the boy’s mother, Roxanne Groepies, told the police that Theophulus had fallen out of bed.

    At the time, Groepies, 18, was living with Hendricks, and after their son’s death Hendricks continued to assault Groepies.

    • What does your post and your creepy references to e.g. “black apartheid” and “black governed South Africa” have to do with the article?

  5. Very good post i saw written on another site about Tutu supporting Barghouti.

    DeamonZA • a day ago −
    What Tutu is not saying is that this nutjob was the head of the Al-Aqsa looney tunes brigade that went around bombing, maiming and generally murdering civilian targets during the first and second intifada (some of the bombings he oversaw personally) and found guilty of murder, terrorism and other bits of badness in an open civilian court… So my question is this Mr Tutu, do you support violence and suicide bombing directed at civilian targets as a valid form of protest ??? Is this really your argument as someone who has won a nobel peace prize ???