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ISM Activist Murdered By Palestinians Shows Double Standard

The death of pro-Palestinian activist Vittorio Arrigoni

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A Mural Depicting Italian Activist Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza City(Mahmud Hams/AFP)

On Monday, a Hamas military court convicted four men in the kidnapping and murder of pro-Palestinian activist Vittorio Arrigoni. If your allergies were flaring up at all yesterday, then you might have blinked and missed the coverage of the trial, it was buried in a 150-word capsule on page 8 of the New York Times. The outcome was reported elsewhere, but with similar economy.

Arrigoni, who was a leader in the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was abducted in 2011 by Palestinian terrorists, videotaped and held for ransom in an attempt to press Hamas in Gaza to release an imprisoned leader of a rival group, and eventually murdered before the deadline even passed. His death was met with condemnation from various Palestinian groups including Hamas–with whom Arrigoni had reportedly aligned. Arrigoni’s death also made him the subject of a number of tributes, highlighting his quest to bring a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. At the time, Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, begged to differ:

“Arrigoni devoted himself to helping Hamas try to destroy Israel. He was a warmonger, an anti-Semite and a supporter of the repression of Palestinians under terrorist rule in Gaza. The attempt by anti-Israel activists to portray him as a crusader for peace or human rights is nothing less than Orwellian.”

The news of the Arrigoni verdict threw the end of last month’s case against the Israel Defense Forces in the death of ISM activist Rachel Corrie into sharp relief. The verdict in the Corrie trial–which exonerated the IDF of wrongdoing–was front page news across the world, garnering some 950 words of initial reportage on A1 of the Times, as well as a number of follow ups and opinion pieces in media outlets around the globe. Outrage ran wild.

So why the relative silence for Arrigoni, who, unlike Corrie, was obviously and brutally murdered? Where are the off-Broadway plays and poems and paintings? There are some clear factors stunting the media uproar–Arrigoni wasn’t American and the timing of his death–but none of these make the circumstances of his death–now confirmed by a Hamas court of all adjudicators–any less outrageous.

Leading up to and following the Corrie verdict, the ISM website devoted several entries to the case, drawing attention to the news coverage, highlighting the perceived injustice of the trial, and again accusing the IDF of cold-blooded murder. In the days before and after the verdict in the Arrigoni case, there hasn’t been anything posted and, perhaps more telling, from reading the tributes to Arrigoni on the ISM site and elsewhere, one would think he died of natural causes and not at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists. In many ways, this is emblematic of all the deaths that seem to come more cheaply when a Jew is not to blame.

Earlier: The Rachel Corrie Trial and Gilad Shalit’s Birthday
Court Convicts 4 in Murder of Activist [NYT]
Gaza Killing of Activist Deals Blow to Hamas [NYT]
Italian politician: Vittorio Arrigoni was ‘enemy of Jews’ [JPost]
Court Rules Israel Wasn’t at Fault in Rachel Corrie’s Death [NYT]
West Bank Activists Remember the Life of Vittorio Arrigoni [ISM]

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Am I reading this right? Did Hamas (of all people) accept accountability and mete out justice in the Arrigoni case as opposed to Israeli whitewash of the Corrie case?

    stannadel says:

    No, they held others accountable for murdering a Hamas ally.

      Got it. Thanks. I guess the Israelis did not have such an option and had to blame the victim.

        stannadel says:

        You assume the Israelis engaged in a whitewash, but that is not clear–your pro-Hamas sympathies are clouding your vision.

          Good god, I am NOT pro-Hamas! I am pro Israeli, anti-Bibi.

          Good to see at least one man who equates Zionism with bellicoseness is capable of maintaining a civil discourse. L’shana tovah to you, too, sir.

          Beatrix17 says:

          The Israelis love Bibi. And you’re just meant to be misunderstood. But most women like anyone named Hershey.

          Ah, but recent dispatches do suggest even BiBi’s political allies are getting fed up with him. For years we heard that once his father died he could become less militant and more diplomatic. Alas, that has not happened. Perhaps the Israeli electorate will wise up and see that he has emerged as the single biggest threat to their security.

          Beatrix17 says:

          Bibi’s country is surrounded by 350 million Arabs, 85
          million Turks, 84 million Iranians, and 8 million Palestinians all of
          whom want Israel destroyed, and you want them to have a leader who is
          less militant? So far, Israel has survived because G-d has given
          them they leader they need. I only hope we’re so lucky.

          What do you know about the Turks that I don’t? If the Israelis can keep from boarding their ships with guns drawn they might remain a valued ally and trading partner.

          Beatrix17 says:

          The Turks wanted to join the European Union and
          “befriended” Israel to show Europe that they weren’t like other
          Muslims, that they were civilized like the Europeans. The Europeans,
          perhaps remembering the Ottoman Empire, turned them down, and the
          Turks turned on Israel. They weren’t angry because of what happened
          on the ship, they sent an armed ship because they wanted an excuse to
          dump Israel. Israel wasn’t armed. That was the problem. They
          thought the Turks friendly and entered the ship unarmed where the
          Israelis were attacked, beaten up, and captured. That’s when the
          Israeli army attacked the armed people on the flotilla.

          The Turks don’t need Israel any more. They have more
          influence with the West than Israel does. Turkey didn’t want Israel
          at the NATO Conference, Obama canceled Israel’s participation.
          Turkey didn’t want Israel at the Global Antiterrorist Forum.
          Despite Israel’s expertise, Obama tossed them out. Turkey didn’t
          want Israel to participate in training exercises, Obama cut back
          Israel’s participation.

          Jews are being systematically pushed out of Europe
          because the Muslims don’t want them. As it once was for the Nazis,
          South America is now the new Jewish refuge.

        mouskatel says:

        Edward, since it seems you attended the trial or perhaps were even one of the judges who heard all the evidence and conferred with your colleagues, please give us all of your evidence to support your claim that “Israel” engaged in any sort of whitewashing or blaming of the victim.

    “Am I reading this right?”

    Clearly, you’re not.

Hey, you lie down with dogs and you get up with fleas.

Why can’t we acknowledge that the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni and the murder of Rachel Corrie are both wrong, acts by vioent individuals and states? Arrigoni was a pacifist who said in an interview with the newspaper PeaceReporter, “Personally, as an activist for human rights, I don’t like Hamas at all. I have something to say to them too: they have deeply limited human rights since they have won the elections.” By all accounts Vittorio, who worked with human rights groups and NGOs in other parts of the world as well was a kind and peaceful man. The author of this article tries to present him as a fanatic. If trying to help an entire population placed under siege and a blockade to prevent food and medicine reaching, collective punishment at its worse, and opposing an occupation is a crime, then he is guilty.

madams12 says:

Thank you for are reporting on this issue, as you mentioned, it was a tiny article buried and missed by most. Too often tragedies are buried or ignored in US msm, especially when it pertains to Palestinians, particularly those who survive inside the cage called Gaza.
It was newsworthy that Hamas adjudicated Victor Arrigoni’s murder without years of external pressure from his Italian family or their government but out of the need to assure residents that brutal gangs like the 4 who kidnapped Arrigoni would be prosecuted. Vic had touched many Gazans lives, especially chlldren while he lived there. He had come in 2008 with hundreds of others who wanted to alleviate the isolation the IDF blockade of Gaza imposed on 1.5 million encaged there.
Regardless of what foreign/ non Palestinians believe about Hamas, the fact is that despite a decade without the occupier allowing any election Palestinians welcomed the chance to democratically elect a new party into office to end the corruption and collaboration with the occupier-cycles even though the IDF controlled the 2006 campaigners, as in ‘who was allowed to campaign there’ ( like Dr M.Barghouthi who was detained/blocked/arrested at various checkpoints attempting to speak )- the people voted for change to eliminate those who were seen as in the pocket of the occupiers. The result is they’ve been punished in the most brutal ways for the one choice they were able to make, “Change” as if F16s & white phosphorus and near starvation ever ended political resistance. Remember Warsaw? So thank you for informing readers that murderers of Victor Arrigoni were pursued, arrested, charged, prosecuted and sentenced for their crime. But perverse logic did not offer the same vigorous efforts for justice for those who were responsible for Rachel Corrie’s murder. Her family did not experience any zealous efforts to investigate nor prosecute the perpetrator(s) of her murder. Just as that lone young man in China’s Tianenmen Square stood facing the column of Chinese Army’s tanks in 1989 who today mocks that powerful courageous image as they’ve mocked the unknown Rachel Corrie? There are parallels to this issue of justice. One meted out by (very bad guys), Hamas, the other, the exoneration of the (very good most moral ) IDF perps by a military judge who, of course, blamed the victim. As a result Rachel Corrie’s name is now known globally though most of us today do not know the name of that one young Chinese man in Beijing. But the truth is they are both recognized as symbols of courage in the face of brute military force. In his case, the deciders in Red China had the wisdom to recognize the power of that moment, something which the idf cannot be accused of.

    Beatrix17 says:

    You compare Israel and Red China and you want us to take you seriously? Anyone who makes a living dealing tricks probably shouldn’t be writing about politics. You should be out corrupting political figures.

    MiddleEastInterpreter says:

    These “encaged people” wouldn’t be encaged if they stopped firing rockets and declared their intention to destroy all of Israel. To remind you, when they weren’t “encaged” they were blowing up buses and restaurants. These are not minor details and do not confuse ’cause’ and ‘effect’. Israel handed Gaza back to the Palestinians and the best they could do was to elect the ultra religious Hamas and turn it into a terrorist state (enough money for rockets, but not for medecine). Corrie put herself in a warzone, she really wasn’t anything like the students fighting the opression of their government. As far as I know, the students didn’t declare war on the government and take part in terrorist attacks. ‘Vic’, as you call him, also put himself in a warzone and while he may have meant well, learned with his life what it is like to live somewhere where life is not respected and death is blackmail card.
    Welcome to the Middle East, where death is celebrated don’t be arrogant to think you would be treated differently.

Oh the irony, a supporter of terrorism murdered by terrorists! There is no comparison to Rachel Corrie though, she was also a terrorist supporter who belly-flopped in front of a bulldozer! Israel cannot be blamed for what happened to her.

jacob_arnon says:

When a pro Palestinian activists falls and breaks an arm it’s a tragedy.

When a Jew is murdered it’s business as usual.

Beatrix17 says:

Corrie was killed
accidentally by a bulldoze operator who couldn’t see her. She was
simply an annoyance, not a big deal to the Israelis who are used to
protesters because it’s safer to protest in Israel than anywhere else
in the Mideast.

The Investigation and
decision concerning Corrie’s death was handled in a legal manner by a
democratic government, which is why there was a noticeable lack of
fanfare, unlike Hamas who uses everything for propaganda.

Hamas is not cut off from
anything except receiving arms. She publicizes, on the Internet, her
fancy restaurants and hotels and wealthy visitors. The Mideast, a
swirl in oil, has fabulously wealthy people. Hamas’ problems stem
from inept leadership. They are not occupied by Israel.

Palestine had an election after signing a partial peace
treaty with Israel who insisted on elections. Their 2nd election
brought in Hamas and so they haven’t had one since. This has nothing
to do with Israe

    mouskatel says:

    What exactly are you trying to say here?

      Beatrix17 says:

      Arabs propaganda
      insists that Jewish men love to go out and deliberately shoot Arab
      children. That’s why people believe that a Jewish bulldoze operator
      saw Corrie lying on the ground and deliberately ran over her. I’m
      saying this is nonsense. Corrie childishly threw herself on the
      ground expecting to be picked up, and the operator simply didn’t see
      her. There was no deliberate murder or cover up. It was a tragic
      accident that the left has infused with drama in order to have
      propaganda against Israel

Move on people.


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ISM Activist Murdered By Palestinians Shows Double Standard

The death of pro-Palestinian activist Vittorio Arrigoni

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