Arab Social Media Users React to Video Showing Palestinian Hunger Strike Leader Barghouti Eating

AP/Kamran Jebreili

TEL AVIV – Israeli media has published a video showing arch terrorist Marwan Barghouti, the leader of a Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, eating in his cell despite the protest.

The Jerusalem Post reported on the video, which shows Barghouti on two occasions – April 27 and May 5 – walking into his bathroom with items in his hands.

On April 27, the IPS (Israel Prison Service) said he ate two cookies. The video shows Barghouti entering the bathroom while holding some materials, though the closed door obscures his actions.

On May 5, the bathroom door is ajar and Barghouti appears to be chewing. The IPS said he was eating a Tortit brand chocolate bar and a package of salt.

The video was taken at the Kishon Prison in northern Israel, where Barghouti was transferred to solitary confinement after the hunger strike began.

Barghouti’s wife and friends immediately held a press conference after the video emerged, claiming that Israel fabricated it in order to harm the hunger strike by damaging the image of its leader.

Many social media users in the Arab world spun conspiracy theories about Israel and the video.

Salma Sissi from Algeria wrote, “The pigs’ (Jews) ability to play the game is weak. They used someone who doesn’t look like Barghouti, someone who doesn’t compare to Barghouti the hero. May Allah punish them.”

Social media user Raghda Abou Zeid wrote, “This video is an Israeli creation. The Israeli actor is one of their soldiers. The goal of publishing this is to tarnish the prisoners. You will not succeed; you are despicable; you are the garbage of humanity.”

Another user named Adli took a slightly different stance, writing that, “When you watch the video of Marwan Barghouti eating chocolate in his cell while on hunger strike, you find yourself facing a moral dilemma that makes it difficult to even speak.”

Aseel responded to Adli’s post, writing, “I say that even if the video was authentic, you have no right to talk about the morality of Marwan Barghouti because you have no idea the pressure they put on him to film this video. His history is enough that we forgive him.”

Barghouti’s history includes serving as an architect of the deadly Second Palestinian Intifada, where he allegedly directed suicide bombings and shootings. He was convicted on five counts of murder and is serving four life sentences.

Ashraf Nabali wrote, “Ate chocolate, ate fries, ate gum – we’re with him and don’t need to talk much.”

Emad Osama, an Egyptian social media user, wrote, “Our government needs to put pressure … on Israel to release the warrior Marwan Barghouti. We must support him so he becomes the president of Palestine. He’s the most appropriate there is.”

Another internet surfer named Marwan wrote, “I see that Barghouti is a leader no less corrupt than Arafat and Abbas, but despite this I don’t think that the video published by the occupiers, even if it’s real, will harm the prisoners’ cause.”

Nayef Hindas wrote, “The Israeli propagandist who suggested the idea of distributing the video of Barghouti eating chocolate is not only a degenerate, he is also influenced by the cheap kind of drama.”


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