Bereaved Israeli Family Members of Barghouti’s Victims Slam New York Times Over Publication of Jailed Palestinian Terrorist Leader’s Op-Ed
Bereaved family members of Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti are speaking out against the New York Times following its publication on Sunday of an op-ed penned by the imprisoned Fatah leader, who is currently leading a hunger strike.
The article drew a slew of condemnations, including from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, many of which focused on the paper’s initial failure to explain (a note was later added) why the 57-year-old Barghouti was in jail for life — his May 2004 conviction on five counts of murder. Barghouti — the head of Fatah’s Taznim armed wing and a founder of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades — orchestrated a string of deadly terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada before being arrested in Ramallah by Israeli troops in April 2002.
Shmuel Landau — the father of Ronen Landau, a 17-year-old boy who was killed in a July 2001 roadside shooting near Givat Ze’ev north of Jerusalem — told the Hebrew news site nrg on Wednesday that the gunmen who carried out the attack were acting at Barghouti’s behest.
“He should not be given any leniency, nothing,” Landau said. “He is a terrorist leader. He is a murderer and he acts like he is the head of a workers’ committee. I don’t think he needs any concessions.”
Asked what he would tell editors of the New York Times if given an opportunity, Landau replied, “I would show them pictures of my late son, who can’t say anything. On the orders of a ‘political leader,’ murderers went out and killed kids…This is what happens when you present him as a ‘freedom fighter.’”
Shlomo Chen — the husband of the late Yoela Chen, a 45-year-old mother of two shot dead in January 2002 by terrorists at a gas station at the entrance to Givat Ze’ev — declared, “I have nothing to say to them” — referring to the New York Times.
“Those who killed my wife will never be free,” he said. “I won’t agree to it.”
Zion Sviri — who lost his son Doron, daughter Sharon and son-in-law Yaniv Ben-Shalom in an August 2001 drive-by shooting on Route 443 — said, “I go to the cemetery every week to visit my murdered children…I hope Barghouti takes the hunger strike all the way and his children have to come to the cemetery every week to speak with him.”
Regarding proponents of releasing Barghouti from prison, Sviri stated, “Anyone who speaks this way, none of them were hurt and none of them know the pain of a bereaved family. I’d wish them this pain and then they’d talk differently.”