During a CNN interview with jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti he was asked : Some of the media have described you as a “Palestinian Nelson Mandela.” Can you ever hope to satisfy these incredibly high expectations?
He said : “I highly respect the experience and resistance of the great African leader Mandela, who led his people to independence and freedom. I wish to be able to contribute in achieving freedom and independence for the Palestinian people. Mandela succeeded because he found a partner like de Klerk, but in Israel there is no de Gaulle that ended the French colonization of Algeria and also there is no de Klerk that ended the Apartheid regime.”
For many Palestinians Barghouti who is serving five life sentences( following his conviction in an Israeli court on murder and other charges related to his role in planning attacks on Israelis during the second Intifada) , is the only political successor to Mahmoud Abbas.