Will the bell toll for Vittorio Arrigoni?

A guest post by AKUS

Ha’aretz and Reuters, via the Guardian, have reported that Vittorio Arrigoni has been found dead.

Since this unfortunate man’s name is not a household word, and when I reveal the circumstances of his death you may well agree with me that his name will not become a household world, let me describe who he was and how he met a horrible death.

Arrigoni was hanged by “Islamic militants” yesterday in Gaza. More correctly, he was hanged by Palestinian terrorists. This after a bizarre attempt by these terrorists to persuade Hamas to release the leader of their Jihadi group apparently failed. Had Arrigoni been killed by an Israeli bullet (or bulldozer), I dare say we would already have several articles and hundreds of BTL comments appearing in the Guardian, rather than just one reprint of a Reuters news item. Here are some of the descriptions of the incident that appeared in the Guardian:

An Italian pro-Palestinian activist has reportedly been kidnapped and killed by Islamic militants in Gaza.

The body of Vittorio Arrigoni was found in an abandoned house in the Gaza Strip on Friday following his abduction by militants, a Hamas official said.

A Jihadist Salafi group in the Gaza Strip aligned with al-Qaida had threatened to execute Arrigoni by 5pm local time on Thursday unless their leader, whom Hamas arrested last month, was freed.

…. Arrigoni, a pacifist and blogger, had lived in the Gaza Strip for some time.

Arrigoni may have been a pacifist, but he was also something else. Ha’aretz, also relying on unspecified “News Agencies” was less coy about revealing that he belonged to ISM, a virulently anti-Israeli NGO:

ISM, the organization to which Arrigoni belonged, operates in the West Bank and Gaza and is known for trying to prevent the Israeli military from carrying out its missions. Arraf said this activist has been going in and out of Gaza for more than two years. He was working with farmers and fishermen.

Ha’aretz also connected the dots for anyone unaware of an important aspect of ISM’s activities in Gaza:

The ISM incident that got the most attention was the 2003 death of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an Israeli military bulldozer in southern Gaza while trying to block its path.

This was an aspect of his death the Guardian no doubt prefers to ignore as it rather knocks the legs out under Katherine Viner, CiF editor. Viner was instrumental in bringing a play about Rachel Corrie to campuses and off-Broadway theater. Rachel Corrie was killed in a fatal accident which she largely brought upon herself and who therefore is hailed as a martyr to the Palestinian cause.

Will we see plays being written about Arrigoni to be presented off-Broadway and on campuses around the world?

Will Carol Churchill write a little play about this, titled, perhaps, “7 Islamist Children”, to be presented during Ramadan?

Will Arrigoni’s parents come to Gaza demanding to be present at a trial of their son’s murderers, as Corrie’s parents have done in Israel even though it is clear that Corrie’s foolishness was the major contribution to her death and no fault of the driver of the bulldozer under which she threw herself?

Will every Guardian hack from Ian Black to Brian Whitaker who claims to be an expert in matters Middle Eastern or human rights or international law write a column demanding justice and that Hamas’ leaders be brought to account in the Hague?

Of course not.

The bell will not toll for Arrigoni and no plays will be written. ISM and other NGOs will not condemn Hamas and the group Hamas claims did this, and, I strongly suspect, at some point Israel will be blamed for Arrigoni’s presence in Gaza and his death.

For example – how did Arrigoni get to Gaza? According to Reuters:

Arrigoni arrived in the Gaza Strip on a boat bringing humanitarian supplies in 2008 that Israel, which enforces a blockade on the tiny coastal territory, allowed into Gaza port.

I knew it. If Israel had first not blockaded the “tiny coastal territory”, and nevertheless allowed Arrigoni to enter Gaza on a boat carrying unneeded “humanitarian supplies” such as out of date medicines and balloons, those “militants” would not have had a grudge against the West, and Arrigoni would still be alive today.

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