05 Jul '17 11:56>
Since his jailing in 2002, Barghouti has been repeatedly described as the Palestinians’ Nelson Mandela, the black African National Congress leader who led the long and ultimately successful struggle against South Africa’s apartheid regime. It is a comparison he has been understandably happy to cultivate in a Palestinian national movement that is, at present, desperately short of icons.
In his New York Times article, he called the hunger strike part of the Palestinians’ “long walk to freedom,” the title of Mandela’s autobiography. He also noted that the International Campaign to Free Marwan Barghouti – backed by eight Nobel peace laureates, including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu – was launched four years ago from Mandela’s former cell on Robben Island. His wife Fadwa, a lawyer, has been a pivotal figure in the campaign.