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June 03, 2005

Palestinian Leaders Admit They Used Sharon Visit to Temple Mt. as Pretext for Violence

Among several errors and omissions,"Love and Terror" (an article in the June issue of O, The Oprah Magazine) wrongly blames Ariel Sharon for starting the second Intifadah in September 2000.

This position has been publicly repudiated by Palestinian leaders. Imad Faluji (PA Communications Minister at the time), for example, addressing a rally at the Ein Hilwe refugee camp in South Lebanon, stated that the intifada had been in the planning for months:

Whoever thinks that the intifada broke out because of the despised Sharon's visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is wrong, even if this visit was the straw that broke the back of the Palestinian people. This intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat's return from the Camp David negotiations, where he turned the table upside down on President Clinton... [Arafat] rejected the American terms and he did it in the heart of the U.S. (MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 194 - PA, March 9, 2001).

A similar assertion was made by Marwan Barghouti (a senior Palestinian leader at the time), who told an interviewer that:

The explosion would have happened anyway. It was necessary in order to protect Palestinian rights. But Sharon provided a good excuse. He is a hated man.
(New Yorker, Jan. 29, 2001).

Please check the CAMERA website for a more detailed analysis of the O Magazine article. An abridged version of the Oprah Magazine article can be found here.

Posted by LG at June 3, 2005 06:12 PM