Amos Oz just sent Palestinian prisoner and former Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti a copy of his novel "A Tale of Love and Darkness" in Arabic. The author personally dedicated the book to Barghouti, and called for his release. Oz is just one of many well-meaning peaceniks who, for some reason, have high hopes for this vile terrorist. Retiring Meretz leader Haim Oron is perhaps the most prominent Marwanite Chearleader.
Leaders on the left see Barghouti's popularity as an asset, and would like Israel to release him so he'll be able to win elections against Hamas. What they don't think about is the fact that he's no less of a terrorist than Hamas, and is just a secular version of the Jihadists. He needs to rot in prison, both for the crimes he has already committed, and also to prevent the crimes he'd commit if released. Keeping him under lock and key also increases the slim chances of a peace deal ever being reached.
Learn from history - Barghouti's personal history, that is. In the early days of the Second Intifida, he turned against peace negotiations in a heartbeat and lead a group within Fatah determined to execute acts of terror againt Israeli civilians. The man who once believed in talks, now believed in shedding the blood of innocents. Now that he's in prison, he's back to the more peaceful tone, but I have no doubt in my mind that he wouldn't think twice about returning to violence.
My fellow leftists, you need to support leaders like Sari Nusseibeh, not Marwan Barghouti.