Marwan Barghouti may have been convicted of murdering five Israelis and planning several other terrorist attacks, but as it turns out he still has friends in the Jewish State. Israel Prize recipient and author Amos Oz recently sent the Palestinian prisoner one of his books with a personal inscription wishing him a speedy release from prison.
In the past few years, Meretz Chairman MK Haim Oron has been in contact with Barghouti, and visits him in prison regularly.
In a recent conversation between Oron and Oz, the MK mentioned that he intends to visit Barghouti again in the near future.
The renowned author then asked Oron if he could hand Barghouti a copy of his book "A Tale of Love and Darkness" in Arabic translation, and even added a personal dedication reading: "This story is our story. I hope you read it and understand us better, as we attempt to understand you. Hoping to meet soon in peace and freedom."
Barghouti – one of the West Bank Tanzim leaders who was convicted of killing and injuring many Israeli civilians and given five consecutive life sentences – is regarded among leftist figures as a moderate leader who is trusted by the Palestinian public and can lead to a peace agreement with Israel. Certain left-wing elements have even called for his release from prison in the past.
'I Consider him a partner'"I've visited him many times," MK Oron said on Tuesday, adding "those who think that (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) Abu Mazen and (Palestinian Prime Minister) Salam Fayyad are partners to peace need to know that Barghouti supports their position, and I therefore also consider him to be a partner."
Rightist elements harshly criticized Oz's gesture; Habayit Hayehudi Chairman MK Uri Orbach noted that "Oz curses the settlers among his own people, but sends greetings and books to the enemy. That’s what happens when love and darkness meet."
MK Danny Danon (Likud) urged Oz "to be honest toward his country and give back the Israel Prize he received in the upcoming Independence Day."
Danon said he would also convene an urgent meeting at the Knesset's Education, Culture and Sports Committee to discuss the criteria to receive the Israel Prize in the future.
"It is improbable that those who support a terrorist with Israelis' blood on his hands will receive this prize," Dannon noted.
Amos Oz has yet to issue a response.
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