Marwan Barghouti Vows to 'Honor Mandela's Struggle'

Jailed Fatah leader writes eulogy from Israeli prison, says he is reminded daily of the quest for freedom.

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Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti has written a eulogy to Nelson Mandela from his prison cell, saying that "freedom [for Palestine] shall prevail and you, dear Madiba, contributed tremendously in making this belief a certainty."

Barghouti's eulogy was published on Redress Information & Analysis, which describes itself as "an independent, privately-funded, non-profit-making website dedicated to exposing injustice, disinformation and bigotry." Much of the material it publishes concerns the Middle East.

"I think of a man who spent 27 years in a prison cell, only to demonstrate that freedom was within him before becoming a reality his people could enjoy. I think of his capacity to defy oppression and apartheid, but also to defy hatred and to choose justice over vengeance," wrote Barghouthi, who was arrested in 2002 and is serving five life terms in Israel's Hadarim prison.

"You carried a promise far beyond the limits of your country’s borders, a promise that oppression and injustice will be vanquished, paving the way to freedom and peace," Barghouthi wrote." In my prison cell, I remind myself daily of this quest, and all sacrifices become bearable by the sole prospect that one day the Palestinian people will also be able to enjoy freedom, return and independence, and this land will finally enjoy peace."

He added: "The tiny cell and the hours of forced labour, the solitude and the darkness, did not prevent you from seeing the horizon and sharing your vision. Your country has become a lighthouse and we, as Palestinians, are setting sails to reach its shores."

Barghouti concluded by saying, "In Palestine, we promise to pursue the quest for our common values, and to honor your struggle not only through words, but by dedicating our lives to the same goals."

A mural of jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, painted on the West Bank separation wall. Credit: Sharon Bukov

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