‘Showed Pales­tini­ans the way’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NELSON MANDELA 1918-2013 -

JERUSALEM: Madiba’s strug­gle for free­dom in­spired Pales­tini­ans to be­lieve that their own lib­er­a­tion was pos­si­ble, jailed Pales­tinian leader Mar­wan Barghuti said.

His re­marks were made in an open let­ter to Man­dela sent from Cell 28 of Hadarim prison in Is­rael, which was pub­lished by the Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion yes­ter­day.

“You said: ‘We know too well that our free­dom is in­com­plete with­out the free­dom of the Pales­tini­ans.’ And from within my prison cell, I tell you our free­dom seems pos­si­ble be­cause you reached yours.”

Barghuti still wields huge in­flu­ence from in­side prison where he is serv­ing five life sen­tences for at­tacks on Is­raeli tar­gets, and has been dubbed “the Pales­tinian Man­dela”.

Man­dela, who first vis­ited Is­rael and the Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries in 1999, was an ar­dent sup­porter of the Pales­tinian cause.

Many Pales­tini­ans have been in­spired by Man­dela’s suc­cess­ful strug­gle in their decades-long strug­gle to end Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion.

“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,” said Barghuti. – Sapa-AFP

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