Tutu backs peace prize for jailed terrorist leader

 

Tutu backs peace prize for jailed terrorist leader

Author: 

George Conger

Former Cape Town archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu has endorsed the nomination of a mass murder for the Nobel Peace Prize, according to a report printed this week by Al Arabiya. In a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee Archbishop Tutu said he endorsed the nomination of Marwan Barghouthi due to his symbolic role for the Palestinian people and their “struggle for freedom, [which] constitutes a clear signal of support for the realization of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights, including to self-determination.”

“Marwan is also an active advocate and defender of democracy and human rights, including women’s rights, and of pluralism, both religious and political, in a region and a world that desperately needs such advocates,” Archbishop Tutu wrote.

According to the Anglican Communion News Service, Archbishop Tutu wrote: “I decided to support this Campaign alongside seven other Nobel Peace Prize laureates as a reflection of our belief that freedom was the only path to peace… I hope the Nobel Committee will take a bold decision bringing us closer to the day this holy land, charged with unique symbolic value, can stop being a living testimony of injustice and impunity, occupation and apartheid, and can finally be a beacon of freedom, hope and peace.”

Described by ACNS as a “Palestinian political prisoner”, Barghouthi has been in an Israeli prison since 2002 serving five life sentences. A former leader of the Tanzim, a militant faction of Fatah, Barghouthi orchestrated terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, that targeted Israeli civilians during the first and second intifada. In 2014 he called for the launch of a third intifada against Israel.

The ACNS noted: “Although his vigorous advocacy of social justice has made him a controversial figure in some quarters, today the Archbishop is regarded as an elder world statesman with a major role to play in reconciliation.”

Not by Jews, however. Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of public security, told the Tazpit Press Service: “The attempt to make the arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti a legitimate nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize is ridiculous and poses a moral contradiction for anyone who wants peace,”

“Barghouti is an abhorrent terrorist who is responsible for the murder of innocents and belongs in jail for the rest of his life. Presenting him as a candidate for the Prize is an unethical, illegitimate act that will only distance any chance to achieve true peace in our region,” Erdan said.

Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, Israel’s deputy defense minister told TPS: “Shame on religious figures who support the murderer of women and children as a Nobel Prize candidate … Barghouti is a convicted terrorist, who even today still calls for the murder of Jews. Barghouti’s way leads to the death of innocents.”

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