Mustafa Barghouthi

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SUMMARY:

 

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi (Mustafa Kamil Mustafa Barghuthi). Physician and political activist; advocate for the development of Palestinian civil society and grassroots democracy; international spokesman for the Palestinian NGO sector, and organizer of international solidarity presence in the OPT.  Writes extensively for a local and international audience on civil society, democracy issues and the political situation in Palestine, and on health development policy for Palestinians living under occupation.

Born 1954, in the village of Bait Rima, near Ramallah. (The Barghouthis of Ramallah are one of the largest extended families in the West Bank; Mustafa is a distant cousin of Fatah West Bank Sec-Gen Marwan Barghouthi).  Trained as a medical doctor in the former Soviet Union, with post-graduate training in Jerusalem, and received his MSc. in Business Administration and Management from Stanford.  Member of the Palestinian-Jordanian delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991. Served as Secretary-General of the Palestinian People’s Party (formerly the Communist Party) and represented the PPP in the Palestinian National Council (the legislative body of the PLO) until his resignation from the PPP in 2002. Stood for election in the 1996 PLC elections (Ramallah district), but lost out narrowly after a recount.

Barghouthi  is President of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (see details), an NGO that provides health and community services to more than 1 million people annually in the Occupied Territories. He also serves as Director of the Health Development Information and Policy Institute (see details), an independent Ramallah-based think-tank specializing in policy research and planning for the Palestinian health care system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 

 

Dr. Barghouthi was one of the founders (Oct 2001) of Grassroots International Protection for the Palestinian People (see details), a program that aims to protect Palestinians, including those engaged in nonviolent protest, through the presence of international civilians to deter or at least bear witness to IDF and settler violence. He also serves as an Associate of the Oxford Research Group, a programme dedicated to developing effective methods for positive change on security issues through non-violent means.

Barghouthi (right) brainstorming at Birzeit University’s conference on finding ways to break the stalemate in the Palestinian political scene; 7 May 2004.

In June 2002, Barghouthi co-founded the Palestinian National Initiative (see details), and currently serves as its Secretary-General.  The Initiative aims to build Palestinian national unity in the struggle for independence through the establishment of a united leadership (with the PLO and the Islamists); by promoting an accountable and transparent democratic system in the OPT; and by strengthening contacts between Palestinians in the Territories and those in the Diaspora.  It also seeks to develop mass nonviolence and international solidarity as the preferred means of resisting the Israeli Occupation, and to mobilize public opinion by making the Palestinian story visible in the news media through outlets such as Palestine Monitor (see details).  Barghouthi announced on 29 November 2004 his intention to run for the Presidency of the PA in the 9 Jan 2005 election, and received the endorsement of his fellow PNI co-founder Dr. Haidar Abdul Shafi.

Other biographical information online at Palestine Monitor and Middle East Reference.

 

 

DETAILS:

 

Part 1 (Medical Issues).

Part 2 (International Solidarity).

Part 3 (Palestinian Democracy).

Part 4 (Relations With Israel).

 

Part 1 - Medical Issues

I think there is little attention from the world international community to how much civil society is important in Palestine, and how vital it is, not only in terms of pushing for democracy and democratic reforms but also in terms of sustaining people’s needs. For instance, 62 percent of primary health care in Palestine is done by civil society. About 90 percent of care for people with disability is done by civil society. And that’s why our movement is also trying to bring attention to this issue. I think the international community is paying more attention to one dimension only, which is security, without paying enough attention to social needs, security social needs, or health needs, or educational needs. They forget that the most important way of getting to security is by providing the needs of the people.  -- Mustafa Barghouti, Future Palestine; 7 Mar 2004.

Barghouthi’s initiatives concerning Palestinian health issues:

The Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees.  The UPMRC is a non-profit non-governmental organization established in 1979 by a group of Palestinian medical professionals, including Dr. Barghouthi, with the aim of filling the gaps in a health infrastructure that had severely decayed under Israeli military occupation. It provides health care and health education to the most vulnerable members of Palestinian society – primarily women, children, the disabled and the very poor – through a network of community health centers.  Today the UPMRC today is one of the largest Palestinian NGOs, treating more than one million people annually (i.e. about one-third of the total population of the Occupied Territories).   Barghouthi received the WHO’s UAE Health Foundation Prize in 2001 for his work with UPMRC in the developing a primary health care service for underprivileged Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. (UPMRC).  (Return to Summary).

 

 

 

In 1989, Barghouti was one of a group of Palestinian health practitioners and researchers who co-founded the Health Development Information and Policy Institute, a non-profit organization that conducts research and planning for the development of the health infrastructure in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The think-tank surveys the existing Palestinian health care system and lobbies for improvements in government health policy, especially for marginalized groups such as women, children and the disabled.  HDIP also uses its research to provide consultations for organizations involved in the funding and development of the Palestinian health care system, including the WHO, EU, UNDP, UNICEF, the World Bank, and other NGOs.  (Return to Summary).

 

 

The HDIP also houses Palestine Monitor, an information clearinghouse for the Palestinian NGO Network, intended to provide an authoritative and coherent Palestinian perspective on events in the Occupied Territories for the local and international news media. Palestine Monitor was established at the outbreak of the current Intifada in September 2000, by a group of 93 Palestinian NGOs frustrated at the absence of the Palestinian narrative in news reporting on the conflict with Israel.  It was created to better inform an international audience in an accessible and user-friendly way about the underlying issues of the I/P conflict, and the realities of Palestinian life under occupation; to humanize the fate of the Palestinians; and to present events in a larger context. Its ultimate goal is the mobilizing of public opinion to bring international pressure to bear on Israel to end the occupation.

Palestine Monitor publishes hard-copy material in the form of fact sheets summarizing key issues of the conflict, longer-term analytical reports, and daily information briefs for the use of the media.  It also maintains the Palestine Monitor Website, which provides online information to over one million international visitors each month. (Return to Summary).

 

Barghouti’s Articles and Analyses On Medical and Social Issues:

 

·         The Condition of the Palestinian Health Sector After Eight Months of Aqsa Intifada; Palestine Report, 4 May 2001.

·         Arab-Israeli Conflict and the Laws of War; Crimes of War project, May 2001.

·         Challenging Myths With Facts On The Ground; Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, 11 June 2001.

·          The Human Cost Of Collective Punishment; HDIP, 12 July 2001.

·         The Saving Thread? Looking for Hope in the Middle East; HDIP, August 2001.

·          Call it State Terrorism - Or Simply War Crime; The Scotsman, 6 August 2001.

·         Our Daily Life Under Occupation Has Become Unbearable; Jerusalemites, August 2001.

·         Violence Breeds Violence; AMIN, 19 September 2001.

·         How Much Worse Can It Get?; PNI, September 2001.

·         The Spirit Still Lives; AMIN, 27 September 2001.

·         The Problem Remains Israel's Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; Palestine Monitor, December 2001.

·         Palestine on the Brink of Disaster; Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2001.

·         How to Restore Hope; al-Ahram Weekly, 7 February 2002.

·         Reoccupying Palestine; al-Ahram Weekly, 25 June 2002.

·         Human Shields, And Other Killings Of Palestinians; AMIN, 20 August 2002.

·         Israel Carrying Out Policy Of Ethnic Cleansing By Inducing Poverty, Starvation, And Cases Of Forceful Expulsion; Palestine Monitor, 20 October 2003.

·         The Ethnic Cleansing Of Rafah; PNI, 29 January 2004.

·         Israel’s Use of Torture; ZNet, 8 June 2004.

·         Press Conference on Israeli Disengagement Plan; Palestine Media Centre, 23 June 2004.

·         Israel's Security Wall: Burden Weighs on Palestinians; Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 15 July 2004.

·         Palestinian Intifada - 4th Anniversary; Press Conference, 27 September 2004.

 

(Return to Index)

 

Part 2 - International Solidarity

There will be no political progress until the Sharon government falls and there is an end to the idea of solving the Palestinian problem by military means. It is more than just Sharon. Sharon and Peres are alike in that sense. But that change will not happen because of internal Israeli factors alone. Probably it will be a combination. I'm sorry to say it, but Israel does not change until it has to.

But there will be other factors, such as the opinion of the Jewish community in the States, the position of the US Government, and the European position. The fact is that the Palestinian issue is rising all over the world as the number-one liberation issue. For young people it is becoming like Vietnam was for our generation. Like South Africa was for the generation of the 1980s. Israel has to decide whether it wants to be a normal country or a colonialist power. It simply cannot be sustained as the last colonialist power in the world. It doesn't make sense. I know that the Israelis enjoy now the arrogance of power. But I think that this is going to change and I believe soon. Whatever Israel does it remains a small country within a sea of Arabs. And I think we as Palestinians can offer Israel a bridge to be accepted, to be normal, to have regular relationships with the world, particularly the Arab world. There is an opportunity. But they can lose it. The Israelis always speak of Palestinians losing opportunities; this time it is their chance not to lose the opportunity.  -- Towards A Democratic Palestine: An Interview With Mustafa Barghouthi; New Internationalist, August 2002.

Barghouthi’s initiatives concerning international solidarity with the Palestinians:

Barghouthi believes strongly that Israel will not end the Occupation by itself, but only under the pressure of the kind of international solidarity activity and sanctions that forced an end to the apartheid regime in South Africa.  Following the US veto on 27 March 2001 of the UNSC resolution calling for the deployment of an international protection force for civilians in the Occupied Territories, Barghouthi and other members of the Palestinian NGO network worked to mobilize instead international protection for the Palestinians on a grassroots level.  On 16 October 2001, Barghouthi and representatives of 700 local and international organizations founded the Grassroots International Protection for the Palestinian People (GIPP), a program that aims to protect the Palestinian people through the presence of international civilians to deter IDF and settler violence. 

Barghouthi explained that apart from the boost to morale that Palestinians receive from knowing that they have supporters in the outside world, placing international civilians on the ground in the Occupied Territories has two practical advantages.  Firstly, the presence of foreign nationals at Palestinian marches, demonstrations, rebuilding of demolished houses, re-planting of uprooted olive trees, and monitoring of checkpoints, deters a violent response from the IDF which is well aware of how much more widely the mistreatment and deaths of foreigners will be reported than those of Palestinians.  The foreign presence therefore makes possible mass non-violent demonstrations against the Occupation.  Secondly, when international activists finish their involvement in the Occupied Territories, they return to their homes, families, churches, political parties, social clubs, workplaces etc, and tell and show others what they witnessed and experienced in Palestine.  So international solidarity brings the subject of the Occupation into public discourse in those parts of the world where the Palestinian side of the story is poorly known, and helps to mobilize public opinion to press for the kinds of government actions – like sanctions, divestment and the suspension of agreements beneficial to Israel, like the  EU-Israel Association Agreement – that forced change in South Africa. (Return to Summary).

Barghouthi was arrested and beaten by the Israeli authorities on 2 January 2002 (photo left), after participating with international members of GIPP and Luisa Morgantini (a member of the European Parliament) in a press conference on the subject of international protection for Palestinians, at the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem. He was released after 4 hours in custody, with lacerations to the head and body and a fractured kneecap.

Barghouthi’s Articles and Analyses On International Solidarity Issues:

·         The Illusion Of Peace; al-Ahram Weekly, 30 November 2000.

·         Israeli Settlers Wage War On Palestinians; HDIP briefing on the movement for Grassroots International Protection, June 2001.

·         Palestine - The Amazing Power of People; Electronnic Intifada, 29 December 2001.

·         The Third Alternative; al-Ahram Weekly, 24 January 2002.

·                   Sanctions The Only Way To End Israeli Occupation; Gulf News, 17 February 2004.

·         Palestinians To Get Their Day In Court; Palestine Chronicle, 19 February, 2004.

·         A New International Campaign of Sanctions Against Israel; Palestine Monitor Press Conference, 20 October 2004.

(Return to Index)

 

Part 3 - Palestinian Democracy

Palestinians do not have to choose between autocracy and fundamentalism. There is a democratic alternative. Palestine could be a state that is independent and sovereign and democratic. A country that respects citizens, with rule of law, an independent judiciary. A place where people can elect their leaders not only once but again and again. I believe in that and I believe that the vast majority of people in Palestine want it.Palestine is not naturally a very fundamentalist place. It is normally a secular place; that has been its history. But fundamentalism thrives not only on Israeli oppression but on the fact that the PA has many flaws -- poor governance, lack of democratic structures, poor response to people's needs, corruption. It makes fundamentalism thrive. When you support autocracy you inevitably support the fundamentalist reaction to it. The only way for this country to safeguard itself against fundamentalism is through the evolution of democratic structures. -- Mustafa Barghouthi, Towards A Democratic Palestine; New Internationalist, August 2002.

Barghouthi’s initiatives for developing civil society and democracy in Palestine:

Barghouthi is Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative (al-Mubadara), a democratic opposition movement that he co-founded with Edward Said, Haider Abdel Shafi, and Ibrahim Dakak (Human Rights Advisor to the Palestinian Authority) on 17 June 2002. The Initiative advocates for an independent and democratic Palestine on all the Palestinian Territories occupied in 1967, and seeks to represent a “third way” appealing to the “silent majority” of Palestinians that does not identify with an autocratic Palestinian Authority or with the fundamentalism of Hamas.

The PNI’s priority is the establishment of a democratic, independent Palestine with full sovereignty, existing alongside Israel on all the territories occupied in June 1967.  Its means of achieving this are:

1. The establishment of a united national leadership to counter PM Sharon’s attempts to fragment Palestinian society physically (through walls and fences) and politically (by using the PA as a security contractor for continuing occupation).  The PNI maintains that while Palestinians have the right to resist occupation, resistance should be directed by a united leadership, ensuring that it serves the Palestinian national, not factional, interests, and that it maintains the moral integrity of the Palestinians as people who are struggling for freedom and independence.

2. The immediate holding of elections in the Occupied Territories at the Presidential, Parliamentary and municipal levels.  The PNI also supports the involvement in the democratic process of the Palestinian Diaspora, especially the refugees in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, who thus far have been left out of the decision-making process despite the fact that their fate is an integral part of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  Only a democratically-elected leadership will be able to negotiate a durable peace settlement, because only a representative government will have a mandate to make crucial decisions affecting the entire Palestinian people.

3. The reform of political, administrative, and other institutional structures to create a constitutional Palestinian society whose people live under the rule of law.  The PNI favours the restructuring of government institutions with clear mandates, bylaws, and responsibilities in order to guarantee transparency and accountability before the general public.

4. Rallying international solidarity as a means of forcing an end to the Occupation.

5. The PNI seeks a lasting and durable peace with Israel, based on a final settlement of all core issues; i.e. settlements, borders, Jerusalem, and the refugees.  It does not support a return to an Oslo-type process, with an endless “interim” stage which Israel can exploit to deepen its grip on the Territories.  Any agreement that tries to improve conditions under Israel military rule rather than ending it outright is tantamount to prolonging the Occupation.  Above all, the PNI believes that peace can only come after the Occupation ends.

(Return to Summary).

Barghouthi’s Articles and Analyses On Democracy in Palestine:

·    The Crisis of Democracy in Palestine; PCAP briefing, 13 December 1999.

·    Palestinian Optimism; Interview with ABC Australia, 9 December 2001.

·    Ultimate Sacrifice; al-Ahram Weekly, 7 January 2002.

·   Emerging Alternatives in Palestine: Edward Said Comments On A Brave Initiative; al-Ahram Weekly, 10 January 2002.

·    Against Fragmentation; Pakistan Daily Times, 29 October 2002.

·    A Place For Our Dream; ZNet, 30 July 2003.

·   Barghouthi Campaigns For A New Government Through Open Elections; al-Jazeerah, 15 December 2003.

·   Future Palestine; Interview With CBC, 6 March 2004.

·   Hope, Out Of Ramallah: The Rise of the Palestinian Alternative; Palestine eNews, 7 March 2004.

·   A Unified Palestinian Leadership Is Urgently Needed; The Daily Star (Lebanon), 21 July 2004.

·   The Initiative Is A Wide Coalition, Not A New Faction; Palestine News Network, September 2004.

 

(Return to Index)

 

 

Part 4 – Relations With Israel

 

Full normalization for full withdrawal… The Israelis are not mature enough even to deal with such an issue. But what should be clear is that we as Palestinians have no more to give. No more concessions to make. The historical compromise was made by us and Israel has to take a part now. Anything less than a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and in East Jerusalem will simply undermine our ability to survive as an independent country. There is no point in trying to survive with less than that.    Mustafa Barghouthi, Towards A Democratic Palestine; New Internationalist, August 2002.

In Barghouti’s opinion, there are two prerequisites for peace: democracy in Palestine (as only a government with a popular mandate can legitimately make a deal on behalf of the Palestinian people) and an end to Israeli occupation.

As a doctor, I would kill the patient if I treated only the symptoms of the disease and not the cause. Yet this is precisely what Sharon and his national coalition government are doing. The occupation is a cancer eating away at the lives of both peoples. We can "heal" both peoples by ending the occupation, not by expanding the occupation and killing the occupied people. We need reasonable people on both sides to have the courage to say yes -- there is a way to peace, we need to move beyond the horrors of today toward a two-state solution. That can only happen, however, if the occupation is ended fully and unequivocally. -- Attribution

Peace with Israel will be impossible unless the occupation ends completely, and a sovereign and viable (i.e. capable of not just existing, but prospering) is established.

Ending conclusively the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is the only way in which peace will be achieved: a real end to the occupation will allow for the creation of a viable Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel. Ending the occupation means a total end to Israeli military presence in the West Bank and Gaza and the dismantlement of all Israeli settlements and outposts. This and control over its borders – like any other country - are the basic physical necessities for a Palestinian state. With this accepted, it is viable to call for implementation of the ‘two state solution’. These Israeli and Palestinian states should be separated by a buffer zone of around 5km, both should be demilitarised, and an international presence should be deployed to the region. It is this vision for peace – through the existence of two independent states – which will bring security to Palestinians and Israelis alike. It is this vision, with a 200km border between two states which will bring peace - not the existing colonisation of the Palestinian territories, which creates ‘borders’ of 3000km around each Palestinian village and town, with Israeli soldiers besieging all Palestinian areas. It is this vision – not Sharon’s plan of ‘enveloping Jerusalem’, which will bring security to both peoples. -- Attribution

This is why Barghouthi supports the refusal of Arafat and the PA to accept what was on offer at Camp David, which he characterizes as self-rule in Israeli-controlled Bantustans, not independence in a sovereign state.

Since the Oslo process, the Israelis have engaged in a deliberate and programmed attempt to change the status quo to an extent unprecedented during the previous 27 years of occupation, destroying any prospects for peace. The building of settlements has continued unabated-over 100 new settlements have been created, and the number of Israeli settlers has doubled. Not only are the settlements themselves often on a large scale, but they need an intricate network of roads to link them to each other and to Israel. The aim has not been to create houses for an expanding Israeli population, but to change the economic and political geography of the Occupied Territories. Through its settlement activities, Israel has sought to transform the West Bank into ethnically Israeli territory, in which Palestinian villages and towns are nothing more than isolated outposts.

In line with Israel's attempts to change the facts on the ground, it has increased its demands, whilst the Palestinians have progressively been forced to lower theirs. The Palestinians were prepared to accept a mere 22 percent of historic Palestine, instead of the 45 percent granted to them under the UN partition plan of 1947. However, following the Oslo accords, the illusion that there might be a two state solution based on the 1967 borders, quickly evaporated. The subsequent negotiations essentially centered on how the West Bank itself should be divided between the two sides. These negotiations culminated in the Camp David Peace Proposals in July 2000 where the Palestinians were asked to accept an offer of a so called state to be located on four separate cantons, with borders, airspace and water being controlled by Israel. -- Attribution

Barghouthi favours a negotiated settlement with Israel that deals with all the final status issues which the Oslo process put off until an indeterminate future.   He rejects any new Oslo-type interim deal, believing that Israel will simply use it as it used Oslo, i.e. to postpone difficult decisions on core issues, while simultaneously establishing new facts on the ground that entrench rather than end the Occupation. He also maintains that, the Palestinians having recognized Israel’s right to 78% of historic Palestine at the outset of the Oslo process, the next step is for Israel to get out of the remaining 22%, not haggle over how much more of that territory it can annex. 

Barghouthi believes that Israel did not enter Oslo with the intention of ending the Occupation, but only as a ruse to end the first intifada, which was making the Occupation more costly that Israel was willing to bear:

In eight years of painful negotiations, Israel never treated its Palestinian counterparts as partners with whom "mutual" compromises or understanding could be reached. Rather, we have always been instructed, in the most patronising way, to accept a peace deal on Israeli terms. Now, Mr Oz is joining the many who profess to know what is best for us, rather than recognising that it takes two to tango. What gives him the right to treat us like half-witted "natives"? Where has his peace camp been for the past eight years? It was entertaining pleasant illusions of peace while settlements were mushrooming and Palestinians were being stripped of their rights.  -- Attribution

Barghouthi sees a parallel between the Oslo agreement of 1993, and the proposed disengagement from Gaza, which he characterizes as a ploy that aims to end the intifada, but not the occupation. Even if Sharon manages to vacate Gaza, it is apparent that he intends to leave it as an isolated and impoverished Bantustan.  And while the world is focused on the “withdrawal” from Gaza, Sharon can concentrate on his real aim, which is the completion of the Wall and the de facto annexation to Israel of more than half of the West Bank.

What does the government of Israel want? To put it simply, it wants a new truce - a second Oslo, which will give it the time to carve off what remains of the occupied territories and break what remains of the resolve of the Palestinian national movement. -- Attribution

As disengagement is no more than a diversion from the seizure of the most productive regions of the West Bank, Barghouthi believes that Palestinian leaders – while welcoming Israel’s withdrawal from any occupied land – should play no part in facilitating or legitimizing Sharon’s version of the “Generous Offer”.  And for Palestinian factions to be fighting over who will take over in Gaza after withdrawal, makes no more sense in Barghouthi’s opinion than two men fighting over who gets the lion’s share of a cake that doesn’t even exist:  

Yet, it would be a mistake to interpret Sharon’s “Gaza first” plan as an admission of defeat. This plan is an attempt to avoid defeat, to trap the Palestinians in a labyrinth much worse than Oslo. This is an attempt by Sharon to lure the Arabs into a trap (one which the Egyptians have wisely refused to be caught in so far), to gain time to complete the Judaization of the West Bank, to destroy the Palestinian people’s future, and to break all hope for a genuine and just peace.

The answer to Sharon’s latest gimmick is not cooperating with the man, allowing him to escape from inevitable defeat. The answer is not engagement in futile rivalry over who is to assume authority if the withdrawal were to take place. Furthermore, the answer lies not in meeting with Sharon and discussing his unilateral
policy, for that would impart legitimacy on these plans.

The answer, and in this lies sincere advice to political leaders in particular, is in following in the footsteps of the inhabitants of Naalin and Budrus, Qibya and Bayt Daqu, Rafah and Qalqilia, Badw and Dayr Qadis, Bayet Liqya and the many other struggling Palestinian villages and towns. The answer is the confrontation of the apartheid wall and the designs of occupation, keeping the spotlights focussed on the real challenge, in bringing down the wall and ending the occupation in all the Palestinian occupied lands, without exception
. -- Attribution
 

Barghouthi believes that the great achievement of the second intifada is that the Palestinians have shown they will never accept a “tribal homelands” solution to the conflict, and will persevere in fighting for genuine indendepence from Israel regardless of what they have to endure.

Palestinians today are tired of promises, illusions, procrastination, fragmentation and discrimination. With the onset of the 21st century, it is time for this people to regain its freedom, its dignity and its independent state.  Those who would still wish to trade statehood for a self-rule entity called a state -- those who would perpetrate apartheid -- are committing a gross error. The Palestinians are far too aware to go along with such concessions.  Attribution

If Sharon is unable to learn the lesson of this intifada, i.e. that Israel has to finally end the Occupation of all the Palestinian Territories, and insists on annexing the West Bank lands that Palestine needs to be a viable state, Barghouthi warns that the Palestinians will never accept the scraps that remain as a resolution to the conflict.  They will instead simply stay put on their land, and demand equality in a binational Palestine, finally bringing an end to Israel as a “Jewish democracy.”

Before leaving for Washington, Sharon visited Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem, the largest settlement in the West Bank. Addressing a gathering of settlers he promised that their homes would remain part of Israel "for all eternity". This may turn out to be true, but would these religious zealots find the land they have seized so attractive if it were part of a wider bi-national state encompassing all of historic Palestine? Would the land seem so important if it were not stolen but given? Where is the appeal in living in a prefabricated concrete fortress when both Israelis and Palestinians have free access to all their holy sites?

 

Last Wednesday, Sharon publicly declared the roadmap dead. He has left no room to manoeuvre even for his allies who have claimed the existing peace process could accommodate his plan. Yet the Likud vote against him demonstrates that the disengagement plan, bad as it is, is still a step too far for the Israeli right. The referendum can only convince the Palestinians that there is no hope for the peace process and that if two states are impossible, they have no option but to struggle for their freedom, survival and equal rights within a single state.

 

How would Sharon react to such a dramatic retaliatory step by the people he has conspicuously sought to demonise and destroy? Rather than the triumph he imagined as he stood in the White House, he may find his strategy to crush the Palestinian people, once and for all, turned hideously against him. – Attribution.

 

 

Barghouthi’s Articles and Analyses On The Peace Process And Relations With Israel:

 

·         Little Progress In Middle East Peace Process; ABC Australia, 11 October 2000.

·         The Illusion Of Peace; al-Ahram Weekly, 30 November 2000.

·         An Opportunity To End All War; al-Ahram Weekly, 28 December 2000.

·         The Moral Courage To Call Us Equals; al-Ahram Weekly, 22 February 2001.

·         Why Palestinians Could Not Accept Barak's Proposal; MidEast Journal, 16 April 2001.

·         Making Sense of Sharon's Policy; Palestine Monitor, 24 May 2001.

·         We Are Being Reoccupied; The Guardian, 23 October 2001.

·         Sharon Must Be Stopped; al-Ahram Weekly, 25 October 2001.

·         Peace Requires An Independent Palestine; The Guardian, 3 December 2001.

·         Yes, There Is A Vision; PNI, 19 February 2002

·         The Final Blow; AMIN, 17 April 2002.

·         Against Fragmentation; Pakistan Daily Times, 29 October 2002.

·         A Place For Our Dream?; al-Ahram Weekly, 10 July 2003.

·         Israel Predetermining The Status Of Jerusalem; al-Jazeera, 30 October 2003.

·         Sharon Must Be Stopped (2); al-Ahram Weekly, 25 December 2003.

·         Sharon's Nightmare; al-Ahram Weekly, 13 May 2004.

·         Sharon's Gaza Plan is a Ploy; Palestine Monitor, 6 July 2004. 

·         Another Generous Offer?; AMIN, 8 July 2004.

·         Occupation as Withdrawal; al-Ahram Weekly, 9 October 2004.

 

(Return to Index)

 

 

 

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