Analysis: Barghouti´s message challenges PA (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 03/28/12)
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Palestinian prisoner´s message to PA leadership not so different than
those made by Abbas´s critics, rivals in Hamas.
Marwan Barghouti’s message to the Palestinians on the 10th
anniversary of his incarceration is directed more against the
Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah than Israel.
Apart from calling for a “large-scale popular resistance” against
Israel, Barghouti’s message included a call to the PA leadership to
cut off security and economic ties with Israel, to combat financial
corruption and to renew its efforts to achieve unilateral recognition
of a Palestinian state at the UN.
In many ways, Barghouti’s message to the PA leadership is similar to
demands made by PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s critics and rivals in
criticism from many Palestinians for its continued security
coordination with Israel and the failure to fight against icons of
corruption among the top brass of the Palestinian leadership.
The PA has also been criticized for “succumbing” to Israeli and US
pressure to abandon plans to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian
Barghouti’s criticism of the PA leadership could mark the beginning
of a revolt against Abbas and the old guard in Fatah.
Barghouti, 52, is viewed as a representative of Fatah’s young guard –
the grassroots leaders from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – while
Abbas, who turned 77 on Monday, represents veteran PLO leaders who
moved from Tunisia to the West Bank and the Strip after the signing
of the Oslo Accords in 1993.
Barghouti and his young guard colleagues have long been complaining
that the “Tunisians” have taken control of the PA, denying them high
positions and a say in decisionmaking.
But Barghouti’s criticism of the PA leadership also reflects his
growing frustration with Abbas for not doing enough – or anything –
to secure his release from Israeli prison.
The feeling among many of Barghouti’s supporters is that the PA
leadership would, in fact, prefer to see Barghouti remain behind bars
because of the challenge he may pose to Abbas’s exclusive control
over the PA.
Reflecting these sentiments, Barghouti’s wife, Fadwa, recently
complained that the PA leadership had instructed its media outlets to
ignore news about the popular Fatah leader.
It remains to be seen whether Barghouti’s open challenge to the PA
leadership will gain momentum. Judging from the reactions of many
Fatah members in the West Bank, Barghouti’s criticism does not seem
to have fallen on deaf ears. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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