Dr. Mustafa Barghouti was interviewed on the BBC World Service earlier today. The Palestinian democracy activist told the "World Today," in very gentle and gracious terms, how President Obama has disappointed the Palestinians. He speaks in this interview of the high hopes he had when US President Barak Obama took office. Listen at this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/news/2010/02/100208_mustafabarghouti.shtml
Barghouti launched the Palestinian National Initiative in 2002 in Ramallah, together with the late Dr. Haidar Abdul Shafi and Mr. Ibrahim Dakkak. The main objective of the Initiative is "the realization of Palestinian national rights and of a durable, just peace." It is sometimes referred to as a "third way" between Fatah and Hamas. Here is a link to the Initiative: http://www.almubadara.org/new/english.php
Barghouthi was nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize by Nobel Laureate Maired Maguire. She wrote, "I am inspired by the life and work of Dr. Barghouthi whose commitment to nonviolence, in his personal and public life, is truly in the Ghandian spirit." The BBC described him as "an advocate of non-violent opposition to to Israel." He polled 20 percent in the last Palestinian presidential election. Barghouthi is secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Here is a link to an op ed by Barghouthi, published in the New York Times in December 2009: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/opinion/17iht-edbarghouthi.html?_r=1
In 2004 a group of ELCA Global Mission board members and staff visited Dr. Barghouthi in his Ramallah office. My impression of Barghouthi was as a very clear, decisive and calm leader, passionate about Palestinian self-determiniation. I was grateful for all he gave us to think about.
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