For a Lasting Peace, Free Marwan Barghouti!

For a Lasting Peace, Free Marwan Barghouti!

I say to you that I am prepared, and like me, the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian people are for historic reconciliation that is based on … two states living alongside one another in security and peace, and which will give our sons and your sons a life without the threat of war or bloodshed.”

–Marwan Barghouti in a message to Israel’s “Peace Now” movement, Jan. 2024

January 7, 2024—If President Joe Biden or any other western leader is actually serious about a peaceful two-state resolution to the so-called “Israel-Hamas” conflict, he or she must call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and demand the release of Marwan Barghouti, the “Palestinian Nelson Mandela” from the Israeli prison where he is currently being starved and tortured according to a recently filed complaint.

In a January 16, 2002 editorial in the Washington Post, Marwan Barghouti pointed out the irony that “the world’s only superpower [the U.S.A.] has been reduced to that of a mere spectator with nothing to offer than a tired refrain of ‘Stop the violence’ while doing nothing to address the root causes of that violence: denial of Palestinian freedom.” On Apr. 15 of the same year, an elite Israeli special forces unit surrounded Barghouti’s house in Ramallah and arrested him. Subsequent to his arrest, Barghouti was put on trial in Israel, during which trial he refused to receive counsel from the court on the grounds that the entire proceedings were in violation of international law according to the Geneva convention. Over twenty years later, Barghouti still sits in an Israeli prison cell, and his words ring just as true.

While American politicians call for Hamas leaders’ heads on stakes, and all but publicly lick the boots of Netanyahu and his cronies, subsequent to October 7, the number of Palestinian citizens held in Israeli prisons has nearly doubled from roughly 5,000 persons, to nearly 10,000, with the addition of 4,500 new detainees, 2,000 of whom are under detention without charges.

Unfortunately, many Americans––officials and everyday people alike––accept this state of affairs,  falling prey to “War on Terror”-type propaganda which portrays, amidst a fog of historical amnesia, the entire people of Palestine as violent terrorists who cannot be reasoned with, much less respected and protected as sacred human souls. The tragic irony is, of course, that the ideologues in Israel, the United States, and elsewhere who accuse the entire Palestinian people of being “barbaric terrorists incapable of reason” are the very people who, in the intoxication of war, have lost the power of reason, and have become the terrorists themselves.

The toleration of this narrative has led to the death of over 30,000 Palestinian civilians with no end in sight, until perhaps they are eliminated altogether, which is the expressed intent of the Israeli Intelligence Ministry. At least South Africa has now acted where the United States has failed in charging Israel with the crime of “genocide” at International Court of Justice which will hear the evidence later this week.

As a candidate for the U.S. Senate, I am calling for an immediate ceasefire, and for Marwan Barghouti to be freed immediately.  He is held in high regard by many Palestinians, and also among those peace-loving Israelis who would remember his role in negotiating the Oslo Accords.  In such a moment, a leader is needed who will be trusted by both sides. Marwan Barghouti may be the only person in that position.

Barghouti himself has expressed a truthful willingness to accept this mission, as in his words from the same 2002 editorial as referenced above:

I am not a terrorist, but neither am I a pacifist. I am simply a regular guy from the Palestinian street advocating only what every other oppressed person has advocated––the right to help myself in the absence of help from anywhere else. This principle may well lead to my assassination. So let my position be clear in order that my death not be lightly dismissed by the world as just one more statistic in Israel’s “war on terrorism.” For six years I languished as a political prisoner in an Israeli jail, where I was tortured, where I hung blindfolded as an Israeli beat my genitals with a stick. But since 1994, when I believed Israel was serious about ending its occupation, I have been a tireless advocate of a peace based on fairness and equality. I led delegations of Palestinians in meetings with Israeli parliamentarians to promote mutual understanding and cooperation. I still seek peaceful coexistence between the equal and independent countries of Israel andPalestine based on full withdrawal from Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and a just resolution to the plight of Palestinian refugees pursuant to U.N. resolutions. I do not seek to destroy Israel but only to end its occupation of
my country.

For 32 years, I worked with the brilliant American statesman and former presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche, who was an ardent advocate for a two-state Israel-Palestine agreement, based on greening the desert and making the region into a prosperous agricultural and industrial powerhouse. This perspective was shared by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as expressed in the 1993 Oslo Accords. Rabin was later assassinated by associates of the current Prime Minister, Genghis Khan admirer, Bibi Netanyahu. LaRouche, a political prisoner who served five years in federal prison, said of Barghouti in 2004, “There is a man in an Israeli prison, who if [then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon wanted to, and if the United States would pressure Sharon to do it, could be pulled out of prison as a negotiating partner with Sharon, for bringing about, or negotiating, some kind of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”

By now, the reputation of the United States as a so-called “civilized nation” has been destroyed. Americans must realize that our government, with the nasty senile old man at the helm, is looked on with pity and bewilderment, not to be listened to or trusted on any matter. It is up to the citizens to restore our Republic to its former reputation as a “beacon of hope and temple of liberty.” Bringing a halt to the ongoing genocide in Gaza would be a good first step.

Call your Congressperson and tell them that it is the United States which will be destroyed through our complicity with a crime against humanity. 

Ceasefire now! Free Marwan Barghouti!