Barghouti Admits Meeting with Ben-Ami After Denial, Says “Subjected to Smear Campaign”

Ramallah – MA’AN – After denying participation in any meeting with Israeli figures, Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, admitted to attending a political seminar attended by former Israeli Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami.

Barghouti stated in a statement that he made a short visit to Italy to meet with leaders of Italian parliamentary blocs supporting the Palestinian people and opposing the right-wing government’s positions in the Italian parliament, aiming to strengthen solidarity and support for the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza sector, and pushing the Italian parliament to impose sanctions on the occupation government to stop the genocide against Palestinians.

Barghouti added that these parties presented a resolution to the Italian parliament to recognize the state of Palestine during his visit. During the visit, he was invited to participate in a political seminar attended by eight speakers, including the Mayor of Rome and Italian parliamentarians and diploma
ts. Barghouti confirmed that the seminar was public and open and not a Palestinian-Israeli meeting as promoted by some.

Barghouti explained that due to time constraints, he did not have sufficient opportunity to get to know all participants, including retired Israeli politician Shlomo Ben-Ami, who described the Israeli government as fundamentally fascist. Barghouti stressed that his participation was unintended and should have been avoided.

Barghouti affirmed that during his participation in the seminar, as he has done for years, he strongly and firmly presented the Palestinian position and called for confronting the occupation’s crimes, explaining in detail the suffering of the Palestinian people. He emphasized that all this is clearly documented.

Barghouti said that what happened does not justify the unprecedented incitement and smear campaign being conducted by some parties with bad intentions, fueled through social media by anti-Palestinian entities. He stressed that the aim of this clarification is to
protect Palestinian national unity and the unity of the Palestinian struggle.

He continued: “Some parties exploited a political seminar in which I participated to launch an unprecedented incitement campaign against me.”

Social media activists heavily criticized the Secretary-General of the National Initiative after broadcasting a video clip showing Barghouti hugging former Israeli Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami at a “normalization conference,” as they described it.

Source: Maan News Agency