In April, the Tunisian Parliament expressed its support for the Barghouti 2016 Nobel Peace Prize nomination, and the Tunisian Human Rights League gave the Peace Prize that had been won by their country’s National Dialogue Quartet last year to Barghouti—they presented it to his wife, Fadwa, in a ceremony at the Palestinian embassy in Tunis.
Remember the name Fadwa Barghouti, also known as Umm Qasem. She’s going to be the next Winnie Mandela. She is 58, an attorney, and a long-term Fatah activist. She described her political evolution: “Prior to my husband Marwan’s arrest, I was like many other Palestinians in the sense that I empathized and stood in solidarity with the cause. However, after his arrest along with thousands of others 12 years ago, I devoted myself entirely to this cause. I launched a grassroots movement demanding the release of Marwan Barghouti and all other prisoners. I devote myself entirely to this issue and my goal is to not let it fall victim to Israel’s intransigence.”
There’s no telling at this point how the new, more rightwing Netanyahu cabinet would react to demands to release the Nobel Peace Prize winner, should Barghouti receive the award. He would certainly make the most capable Arab leader Israel has faced to date, with the energy and imagination Abbas never possessed. The temptation to set him free to appease a demanding world would be horrendous, and once Israel lets him out of his cell there’s no telling what he would do and how many Israelis would pay with their lives for his freedom.