Convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti, who was sentenced in 2004 to five consecutive life sentences, was not only given valuable real estate in Sunday's New York Times to publish an op-ed trashing the state of Israel, he was originally identified to readers only as a "Palestinian leader and parliamentarian." Nowhere were readers informed of Barghouti's monstrous crimes.
The op-ed, titled "Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel’s Prisons," blasts Israel in its opening paragraph as a police state guilty of an "illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners[.]" And that is the nice part. The convicted terrorist goes on to accuse Israel of torturing him and other Palestinians, of being an occupier, of creating a form of "judicial apartheid."
The piece is nearly a thousand words long, contains no documentation to back up its wild claims against the Jewish State, and Barghouti only mentions his imprisonment as a means to make himself look like a martyr.
The truth of his crimes are somewhat inconvenient to the Israel-hating New York Times:
Barghouti is the former leader of the Tanzim armed wing of Fatah and the founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a Fatah terror group. He was convicted in an Israeli civilian court in 2004 on five counts of murder and one attempted murder, and was implicated in and held responsible for four other terror attacks. He is serving five life terms for the murders, and an additional 40 years for attempted murder.
The specifics include the targeting of innocent women and children at a shopping mall:
A panel of three judges, Sarah Sirota, Amiram Benyamini and Avraham Tal, convicted Barghouti on May 20 of involvement in the murder of Yula Hen, shot dead at a Givat Ze'ev gas station in January 2002, and of a Greek Orthodox priest near Ma'aleh Adumim in June 2002.
Barghouti was also convicted of direct responsibility for the murders of Yosef Havi, Elyahu Dahan, and the police officer Selim Barichat, in the shooting attack against the Sea Food Market restaurant in Tel Aviv in March 2002.
Barghouti was also held responsible for the attempt by suicide bombers to detonate an explosives laden vehicle at the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem. The attempt failed and the two would-be suicide bombers died when their vehicle exploded prematurely.
While the Times allows Barghouti to rage over the "show trial" that convicted and sentenced him, the crucial context the Times allows him to omit is that his trial was nothing of the sort. The truth is that Barghouti had been charged by Israeli prosecutors with being the mastermind behind 37 terror attacks, but was convicted on only 3 counts.
After an uproar yesterday, including criticism from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Times reluctantly added an editor's note at the bottom of Barghouti's piece that identified him as a convicted terrorist, but added that "Barghouti declined to offer a defense at his trial and refused to recognize the Israeli court’s jurisdiction and legitimacy."
To add insult to what can only be an intended-injury, the terrorist op-ed was published during the Jewish holiday of Passover.