Geoffrey Alderman’s essay in The JC, This was no peace activist, which opined that the death of Vittorio Arrigoni, the extremist anti-Israel activist, caused him pleasure influenced at least one Guardian “journalist” to berate JC editor, Stephen Pollard, over the insensitivity of publishing such a “disgusting ” attack.
While I personally would not have used the language Alderman did, those who would lionize Arrigoni, as many have, as anything approaching a “progressive”, a “liberal”, or someone who sought “peace and reconciliation” is simply beyond absurd, easily refuted by the briefest research into his life, and are engaged in an egregious moral inversion – one employed constantly by the anti-Israel left.
As we have noted previously:
Arrigoni was a supporter of Hamas, and a member of International Solidarity Movement, a group who has supported violent “resistance” and has forged links with known terrorist movements – such as their involvement with the group responsible for the terror attack in 2003 at Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people.
Arrigoni posted anti-Semitic images on his Facebook account which included a cartoon depiction of Israelis murdering Santa Claus and one, recalling classic anti-Semitic tropes, showing soldiers of the Jewish state arresting Jesus Christ. He also approvingly posted a sign in an Egyptian shop which read, “No Dogs or Israelis Allowed.”
In short, Arrigoni was a bigot. And, merely because he claimed the mantle of “pro-Palestinian” doesn’t grant him immunity from his exceedingly reactionary record of expressing palpable animosity towards Jews and Israel.
Yes, I believe that Arrigoni’s murder at the hands of terrorists – members of Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (JTJ), an al-Qaida affiliate, in April – in Gaza was horrific, but it is worth noting that Harriet Sherwood, so outraged by Alderman’s remarks about Arrigoni, never found the time to direct such righteous moral outrage, anywhere at all in her blog or column in the month since his death, at the vile radical Islamist perpetrators of this ghastly crime – a selective outrage which continues to define the politics of the Guardian Left.
Geoffrey Alderman was right and courageous to say that Vittorio Arrigoni was nothing even approaching a “peace activist”, and thus I’ll continue to defend him, without qualification, from the sanctimonious and supremely hypocritical assaults leveled by Harriet Sherwood and her anti-Zionist political fellow travelers.