See, this is the thing: if you are secretly snacking while leading a hunger strike, you’re doing it all wrong. Gandhi didn’t do this. At least we don’t think he did.
Over a thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are in the third week of a mass hunger strike, demanding better conditions. Now the leader of the strike, terrorist Marwan Barghouti who i being held in solitary confinement at the Kishon prison, has been caught on camera eating cookies and a candy bar. Israel released videos of the would-be martyr sneaking snacks in his cell, and naturally Palestinian leaders called foul, dismissing the videos as fakes aimed at demoralizing his hungry followers. The problem is that Barghouti has cheated before.
In 2004, leading another hunger strike, he was caught on camera eating while his fellow prisoners were refraining from food like good hunger strikers. Not knowing he was being surveilled, the Palestinian leader covered the door and window of his cell, washed his hands and chowed down after asking wardens for food. The Israeali Prison Services spokesman said that cameras were set up to show the fasting prisoners how their leader was behaving. “Barghouti is sitting on a pot of meat and he sends his friends to die,” the spokesman said at the time.
Thus this terrorist’s credibility is not very high when it comes to hunger strikes. Obviously he is not cut out for this particular form of protest; to be fair, not everyone is. It is really, really dishonest and wrong, however, to lead others to starve themselves and then secretly pig out. India might still be part of the British empire today if Gandhi was caught on candid camera scarfing down buffalo wings and Fritos. Secretly snacking while leading a hunger strike is a direct contradiction of the term “leader,” and has the especially distasteful feature of conning both the target of the protest and those protesting.
If you are not familiar with the snacking hunger striker, Barghouti founded the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade terror group and was the leader of Fatah’s armed wing, the Tanzim, during the second intifada before being captured by Israeli forces in April 2002. He was tried on 21 counts of murder in 2004, acquitted for “lack of sufficient evidence,” but was sentenced to five life sentences for five murders in three attacks, plus an additional 40 years imprisonment for attempted murder.
Last year, Belgian members of Parliament nominated Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize. I’m sure the murders won’t count against his candidacy, but surely the fake hunger strike should.
The Mahatma would not approve.