Ron Litchman
Heterodoxies . . . Unorthodox Advocacy

Marwan MANDELA? Hardly. That’s like electing Terry Nichols president.

Remembering 1995.

Terry Nichols conspired with Timothy McVeigh in blowing up the federal building in Oklahoma, killing 168 innocents. Their dramatic way to petition the government for redress of their grievances.

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McVeigh was executed. Nichols is serving multiple life sentences.

What brings to mind that notably depraved terrorist is not any plausible notion that he’s presidential material, not even in the chaotic state of presidential politics now playing in the United States.

It’s the polling data emanating from the West Bank that among the Palestinians living there, Marwan Barghouti is the leading candidate to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as President of the Palestinian Authority.

Like Nichols, Barghouti is imprisoned for multiple life terms, for murdering multiple innocents, to vent his political grievances.

Hamas wants him let out. West Bank Palestinians want to vote him in.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – JANUARY 2: (FILE PHOTO) Senior Palestinian activist Marwan Barghouti raises his arms in triumph.

He’s the “most popular politician,” in all of Palestine according to a survey reported by the Associated Press. He’s being compared with Nelson Mandela (notwithstanding their rather different rap sheets) – presumably Martin Luther King and Gandhi are too far a stretch, their famous non-violence being a deal-breaker.  Adolf Hitler, another once-imprisoned violent subversive, is a closer role model, but lacks the PR caché.

That survey also found that 82% of Palestinians in the West Bank believe Hamas was correct in launching the October attack on Israel (higher even than the 57% in Gaza who say so). And 44% in the West Bank admit that they support Hamas, also higher than in Gaza, where “only” 42% do.

Although short of electoral majorities — thus far, but come the fad of “ranked-choice voting” . . . — , Hamas retains significant loyal pluralities – even when counting only those who admit it openly to pollsters. So many Palestinians approving the aims and tactics of jihadist depravity negates the idea (see Note 1) that Hamas is so unpopular that Palestinians are ripe for statehood.

It ought to burst Biden and Blinken’s delusional bubble of statehood for a people so steeped in violence and hatred.

Palestinian statehood could come, some day in the distant future, after Palestinian culture is de-radicalized and reformed to join the civilized world.

When Palestinians would not elect a murderous terrorist to lead them.



1. See, for a recent example, A. Jamal & M. Robbins, What Palestinians Really Think of Hamas, in Foreign Affairs,

© 2024 Ron Litchman

Ron Litchman is a recovered lawyer and freelance writer who can usually be found in his writer’s cabin in the New York Catskills, and always at

About the Author
B.A., Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois, USA) J.D., The George Washington University, (Washington, D.C. USA). Chair, the Manhattan (NY City) Libertarian Party, 2016-2018.
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