Photo Credit:

Joshua B. Dermer/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Israeli officials expressed outrage on Wednesday over former South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s nomination of Marwan Barghouti, a convicted terrorist, for the Nobel Peace Prize on Monday. Barghouti was convicted in 2004 of ordering the murder of five Israeli citizens and is now serving five life sentences.

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Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of public security, and Eli Ben-Dahan, the deputy defense minister, blasted Tutu’s nomination of Barghouti in remarks to Tazpit Press Service (TPS) on Wednesday.

“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,” Erdan told TPS in a statement communicated through his spokesman, Shai Mordov. “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 [Nobel] Prize is an unethical, illegitimate act that will only distance any chance to achieve true peace in our region.”

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

“The very mention of his name in the same sentence as the Nobel Peace Prize is a ridiculous insult to the prize,” added Ben-Dahan.

Tutu, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his efforts in ending South African apartheid, wrote a letter on Monday to the Norwegian Nobel Committee nominating Barghouti for the prestigious prize, describing him as “a symbol of the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom.”

“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,” Tutu wrote.

Barghouti is currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for his role in leading terrorist activities during the first and second intifadas that included dozens of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. He is a former leader of the Tanzim, a militant faction of the Fatah party currently headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, that took credit for many of the murders during the bloody Second Initfada in the early 2000’s. In 2014, he called for the launch of a third intifada.

Roger Friedman, Tutu’s spokesman, declined a request by TPS to comment.

Tutu is a frequent critic of Israel and outspoken proponent of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) campaign against Israel. During a visit to Israel in 2009 he argued that Jews should “forgive” the Nazis and that Palestinians are “paying penance for the Holocaust” – remarks that earned censure from Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.

Tutu was affiliated in the past with the Peres Center for Peace, the organization of Israel’s former president and prime minister Shimon Peres – himself a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

As of Wednesday morning Tutu’s name still appeared on the Peres Center’s website as an honorary board member, TPS discovered, but the page containing his name appears to have since been removed. A spokeswoman for the Peres Center declined to comment on Tutu’s remarks or the website.

Barghouti is regarded by PA Arabs as a political prisoner and potential successor to President Abbas, as he consistently garners widespread support in polls for potential Palestinian Authority elections. Yet to Israel – and to the families of the five victims for whose murders he sits in jail, as well as dozens of others for which Barghouti was acquitted on account of insufficient evidence – he is an arch-terrorist.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the outrageous terrorist shootings that took the lives of at least four innocent civilians and wounded at least twenty others in Tel Aviv yesterday.

    The Israeli security forces’ investigation is ongoing, but some facts have already emerged — and they are grim.

    Just as fast as the condolences arrive from the civilized world is the praise arising out of the uncivilized one. Hamas praised the attack, calling the attackers “heroes.” Reports out of Hebron indicate that residents of the terrorists’ hometown lit up the night sky with celebratory fireworks. One Palestinian “news organization” even referred to the shootings, in which the assailants dressed up as observant Jews, as a “Ramadan treat.” The leader of Hamas called the injured terrorist a “hero.” How despicable!

    The American people stand strong with the people of Israel, who have suffered far too long from terrorism. Israel’s security is a matter of paramount importance to me and the American people.

    We understand all too well the unspeakable horror that terrorism unleashes. To address it — and address it we must! — we must recognize the parallel horror of the culture of religious hatred that permeates many Palestinian quarters. From schools that indoctrinate toddlers to grow up to kill Israelis to the daily menu of hate that spews forth from various “news organizations,” change is long overdue in the Palestinian territories.

    Let us begin the arduous task of creating a future where peace can take root and terror finds no refuge.

    I express my deepest condolences to the families of the four Israelis who were murdered, as well as my wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.

    Donald J. Trump

  2. Since Mr. Nobel invented Dynamite, Execute Barghouti for 5 murders. Shove a stick of Dynamite you know where! After they gave a Nobel Peace Award to Yasser Arafat, I lost respect for the Peace Prize. Peace Prize was intended for people who actually PROMOTE PEACE!! Got that, Committe? I'm still proud of the great people who have earned it in Chemistry, Medicine & Science and Literature. As for Mr. Barghouti, Alfred Nobel is rolling over in his grave!!

  3. The share of Nobel Prize winners among the Jewish people, however, is 1446 times greater than among Muslims. In the celebration the list of Nobel Prize winners over the years, there are 135! Jews. All genres are represented: Literature, Peace, Physics, Chemistry, Economics and Medicine. (Year 2013)

  4. We all have our heroes- Superman, the Hulk, Spiderman,etc. They fought for good vs. evil, their values were of Judeo-Christian beliefs- honor, responsibility, family, democracy, equality, free speech,etc. I guess Tutu has his own heroes-Barghouti, Arafat, PLO, Hamas, Hesbollah,etc. Mandela would be proud to see Tutu following in his foot-steps.

  5. Look at Ms. Almqvist wrote. She is absolutely correct. I think the Peace Prize may be screwed up but no one can argue with the other genres! Interestingly, the Peace Prize was tagged on after all the other genres were put in place yet gets the most attention! What a shame. All the other truly GREATS should be given more publicity. Ms. Almqvist listed all the main genres. Allot of Jews in the groups!

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