Channeling the The New York Times, numerous Agence France Presse photo captions in recent days whitewash convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti as a “veteran fighter.” The detailed captions note that the Palestinian figure “is sometimes dubbed the ‘Palestinian Mandela,'” but omit the more fundamental fact as to why he has been imprisoned for nearly two decades: his conviction in an Israeli civilian court for five counts of murder and one attempted murder, along with his role in four other terror attacks. The numerous captions state:
As Palestinians ready for their first elections in 15 years, two powerful players loom large from afar. One is a royal advisor living in the wealthy United Arab Emirates who has just delivered a large shipment of Covid vaccines to the impoverished Gaza Strip. The other is a veteran fighter of the second intifada, who has lived in an Israeli prison cell for nearly two decades and is sometimes dubbed the “Palestinian Mandela”. The role of the two political heavyweights — Abu Dhabi-based Mohammed Dahlan, and imprisoned Marwan Barghouti — is seen as crucial ahead of the May 22 legislative and July 31 presidential votes.
Examples of the woefully inadequate captions follow:
In 2017, The New York Times was slammed when it ran an Op-Ed by Barghouti and similarly omitted the same key biographical information. Barghouti’s Op-Ed alleged “an Israeli court sentenced me to five life sentences and 40 years in prison in a political show trial that he is in Israeli prison that was denounced by international observers,” and the accompanying biographical information identified him only as a “Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.” The Times did not disclose his murder and other terror-related convictions.
Following the uproar about the gross whitewash of Barghouti, The Times commendably published this Editor’s Note:
This article explained the writer’s prison sentence but neglected to provide sufficient context by stating the offenses of which he was convicted. They were five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization. Mr. Barghouti declined to offer a defense at his trial and refused to recognize the Israeli court’s jurisdiction and legitimacy.
CAMERA calls on the AFP to follow The Times’ example and add information about Barghouti’s convictions. Stay tuned for news about corrections.
See also “AFP Captions Whitewash Arch-Terrorist Dallal Al-Mughrabi;” “AFP Caption Whitewashes Islamic Jihad Terrorist” and “AFP Corrects Over a Dozen Captions: Prisoner Bassam Al0Sayeh Convicted in Henkins’ Murder“