Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reuters does touch-up job on Marwan Barghouti and Fatah

In May of 2004, Marwan Barghouti, leader of the Tanzim terrorist organization (a branch of Palestinian President Abbas' Fatah party) was convicted on 5 counts of murder by an Israeli civilian court.  Among the atrocities organized and/or funded by Barghouti was an attack on a seafood market restaurant in Tel Aviv.  Here's how the incident is recounted in Barghouti's indictment: 

At that same time, the Restaurant was completely packed with dozens of diners. Hasouna [Barghouti's operative] arrived at the "Maariv House Bridge" located on the aforementioned street opposite the Restaurant and began shooting at the diners with the intention of willfully causing the deaths of many of them. Near this time Hasouna threw hand grenades into the Restaurant that, miraculously, did not explode. Immediately thereafter Hasouna approached the Restaurant and stabbed those Restaurant diners who got in his way, with the goal of willfully causing the deaths of many of the diners. 

Barghouti was sentenced to five life sentences for murder and another 40 years for attempted murder.

Here's how Tom Perry describes Barghouti in a story appearing today on the Reuters website:
Still popular and articulate despite five years behind bars, the 50-year-old activist is seen by some as a Palestinian Nelson Mandela, the man who could galvanize a drifting and divided national movement if only he were set free by Israel.
Uh-huh, an "activist" -- Nelson Mandela even.

Perry then goes on to completely misrepresent the official positions and rhetoric of Barghouti's (and Abbas') Fatah party: 
Fatah leaders at the movement's congress this summer suggested civil disobedience rather than organized violence.
As reported by Tom Gross, here's what actually transpired at the Fatah congress:
Among its resolutions of recent days, the Fatah assembly on Sunday approved a political platform that emphasized the Palestinians’ right “to resist occupation in all forms including armed struggle” (i.e. suicide bombings). A report by Reuters added that President Abbas personally insisted on this.
Perhaps Perry ought to review some of Reuters' previous news stories on the event.

Perry finishes with a revealing and ominous admission:
Barghouti did not say what sort of action he had in mind.
Hmmm, a bit of a contradiction from the story headline:
Palestinian leader wants popular, diplomatic action 
Time for a rewrite.

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