Posts Tagged ‘ISM’

Funeral in Gaza City

Gaza, deux mois après l’assassinat, deux mois avec Vittorio Arrigoni

DE Michele Giorgio (à Gaza city pour ” il manifesto” 15/juin/2011)
traduit par Mariam S. (Mimi Loves Gaza)

“L’espace de jeux des enfants sera par là,  on rénové la salle de bain et la cuisine sera là”…

Saber Zanin se déplaçait rapidement d’une pièce à l’autre dans le local de l’association “Forsan Al Ghad ” pour les jeunes de Beit Hanoun.

Juste quelque temps auparavant il avait guidé une manifestation de presque trente volontaires occidentaux d’ISM (International Solidarity Movement) aux marges de la “Buffer Zone” (zone tampon),  la zone agricole la plus fertile de toute la bande de Gaza.

Ce sont ces secteurs dont Israël bloque l’accès aux palestiniens, pour des “raisons de sécurité”, même à ceux qui y possèdent des terrains.

C’est une mesure qui s’accompagne de tirs d’armes automatiques contre quiconque ose violer l’interdiction qui a affamé des centaines de familles qui vivent grâce à l’agriculture familiale.

“Vittorio a lutté avec nous, nous avons fait plusieurs marches ensemble le long de la “Buffer Zone”, c’était un frère pour moi, Saber réfléchit  en
nous montrant sur son ordinateur portable, des photos de Vittorio faites il y a à peine quelques mois.

Aujourd’hui  sera inauguré un camp d’été  appelé “Stay Human, Restiamo Umani”, à la mémoire de l’activiste italien kidnappé et tué il y a deux mois. Nous allons accueillir 60 enfants et adolescents entre six et seize ans, explique Saber. ” Et en plus de jouer et s’amuser ils vont apprendre à mieux connaître l’engagement politique et l’histoire humaine de Vittorio. Et aussi ils vont apprendre des notions de droits humains qui les prépareront à suivre les pas de notre frère décédé.”

Une dizaine d’ONG italiennes qui travaillent à Gaza sponsorisent le camp d’été,  Saber a la possibilité de voir son rêve devenir réalité, “Vittorio a toujours protégé les enfants de Gaza,  il serait heureux que cette initiative lui soit dédiée.”

Deux mois sans Vik, au contraire deux mois avec Vik continuellement, parce que à Gaza les amis et les camarades ne l’ont jamais oublié. Ses mots sont comme des pierres, son image fait partie de la mémoire collective. Daniela Riva, une volontaire du GVC  (groupe de volontaires chrétiens) de Bologne a passé les quelques dernières années a Gaza, travaillant sur des projets de développement.

Vittorio était un de ses amis proches, “quand je m’écroulais face à ceux qui en comprenaient pas mon engagement pour Gaza”, raconte Daniela, “Vik me disait que je devais répondre, qu’être engagé pour la justice et la liberté voulait dire être en vie, est ce qu’il y a autre chose qui mérite qu’on vive ou meure pour elle ? Qu’y a-t- il au monde de plus précieux ?… Quand, il y a quelques mois, un fermier que j’ai  vu seulement pendant quelques minutes a été tué par les balles israéliennes, Vittorio m’a dit de tout faire pour ne pas pleurer aux funérailles et de tenir ma tête haute,  on en pleure pas les martyrs, je l’ai fait. J’ai essayé de faire la même chose à ses funérailles aussi mais les larmes sont tombées en dépit de mes efforts.

Des souvenirs, d’intenses moments d’émotion, pour un jeune homme qui a perdu la vie à seulement 36 ans, un jeune homme qui a envoyé, via internet, quotidiennement et  durant des années avec honnêteté et constance,  des informations sur le siège israélien de Gaza. Sans omettre l’aspect économique et social, des informations qui ont été encore une fois confirmées hier.

Un rapport  de l’UNRWA précise que dans la seconde moitié de 2010, le taux de chômage dans la bande de Gaza était de 45.2%, l’un des plus élevés au monde. D’un  autre côté le niveau des salaires ne cesse de baisser. “Ceci est un signal d’alarme.” A déclaré Chris Gunness, le porte parole de l’UNRWA, “il est difficile de comprendre la logique d’une telle politique planifiée (par Israël note de l’auteur) afin d’appauvrir délibérément et qui a condamné des centaines de milliers de personnes à une vie de misère abjecte. Si le but du siège est d’affaiblir le Hamas”, continue –t-il “ces chiffres montrent qu’ils ont échoué, en même temps ils ont eu un grand succès dans la punition de quiconque puisse être considéré comme parmi les plus pauvres  des pauvres du moyen orient.

Les parents de Vittorio, sa sœur, ses amis, tous ceux qui l’ont connu personnellement ou qui ont fait sa connaissance à travers internet,  ceux qui l’ont écouté attentivement durant son tour d’Italie, ils sont tous impatients de connaître la vérité sur son assassinat. Ce moment pourrait être proche, des sources autorisées du ministère de la justice et des services de sécurité du gouvernement de Hamas, qui ont préféré rester anonymes, ont dit au manifesto que la court martiale allait rendre publique un communiqué officiel à la fin du mois de juin dans le cour des investigations et qu’au moins deux personnes, impliquées dans l’enlèvement et l’assassinat de Vittorio, allaient être jugées. L’une d’elles est Mahmoud al Salfit, le seul survivant des trois membres de la cellule Salafite autoproclamée (qui ont quitté le groupe Tawhid wal Jihad) responsable de l’enlèvement.

Les deux autres, le jordanien Abdel Rahman Breizat et Bilal Omari ont été tués dans l’assaut donné a Nuseriat mené par les forces spéciales du Hamas, quelques jours après le meurtre de l’activiste italien.

Des sources du ministère de justice ont expliqué que l’enquête, close à la mi-mai a été rouverte après l’échec de deux tentatives d’enlèvement de jeunes citoyens américains, un coopérant (résident de longue date dans la bande) et un activiste de ISM (le dernier près “de la Galerie”, le café que Vittorio fréquentait avec divers activistes locaux et internationaux).

Le cerveau derrière l’enlèvement est le jordanien Abdel Rahman Breizat, qui a préparé le plan un mois et demi auparavant, à l’aide de plusieurs habitants de la bande de Gaza dont certains proches  de Vittorio, la plupart d’entre eux ignoraient ses intentions.

Au début, ont ajouté les sources, le plan n’incluait pas le meurtre de l’activiste italien cependant lorsque les ravisseurs ont comprit qu’ils allaient être découverts dans l’espace de quelques heures, ils ont décidé de s’enfuir et d’effacer leurs traces. C’est Breizat qui a tué Vittorio parce qu’il était convaincu qu’en laissant l’homme kidnappé en vie ils seraient très vite découverts (Vik connaissait au moins deux de ses ravisseurs, en particulier Bilal Omari qui fréquentait la même salle de sport que lui).

Pour la confirmation de ces informations il ne reste qu’à attendre le début du procès. A ce moment là on pourra consulter les actes d’accusation et nous connaîtront finalement les déclarations faites par les accusés durant les interrogatoires.

En attendant, le mystère règne sur la disparition de huit objets ayant appartenus à Vittorio en particulier son ordinateur portable, disparus après l’enlèvement. Hamas avait déclaré les avoir récupérés et déposés dans les locaux de la centrale de police, maintenant ils nient cela.

en anglais: https://wewritewhatwelike.com/2011/06/15/hamas-the-report-with-the-truth-on-vik%e2%80%99s-homicide-at-the-end-of-june/

 

We don’t know for sure as of yet who murdered international Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni. However, whoever committed this despicable crime must be a human beast walking on two legs.
 
Vittorio Arrigoni was abducted on Thursday, 14 April, in Central Gaza. Members of a notoriously fanatical group posted a video online saying they would kill him unless the Gaza government released detained Salafists from prison.
 
Within a few hours of the warning, Arrigoni’s body was found in an empty house.
 
Arrigoni’s death has infuriated Palestinians everywhere. Ismael Haniya, the elected Prime Minister of Hamas called Arrigoni’s murder a “nefarious crime that goes against our religion, norms and traditions.” A spokesman for the Gaza government described the perpetrators as “thugs and murderers of the lowest kind.”
 
One Islamist writer, Ibrahim Hamami, called the murderers, “the lowest of the low.”
 
The accused group, the Tawhid and Jihad, has denied posting the video or any involvement in the killing of Arrigoni. They hinted that the Israeli intelligence may have been the real killers of the Italian activist.
 
And while Israel can never be ruled out as an accused party, it is widely believed that the so-called Salafi group (Salafi means a true follower of the Prophet) remains the premier suspect. They are guilty until proven innocent, given the prima facie evidence that would indict them.
 
It is true that the Salafis are not carbon copies of each other. However, the militant Salafis have been accused of abductions, killings, attacking internet cafes, and calling for the expulsion of Christians from the Gaza Strip.
 
A group of Salafis last year carried out an armed rebellion against the Hamas-led government during which several people lost their lives. In one episode, an intermediary who was carrying a message to their leaders was brutally murdered by those who called themselves Muslims. Islam is absolutely against killing messengers even in war time.
 
One would hope to give these stupid fanatics the benefit of the doubt. However, their diabolic crimes in many parts of the Muslim world leave us no doubt as to their true nature.
 
They claim they are out to fight the armies of the disbelievers who have invaded some Muslim countries.  However, the falsehood and mendacity of their claims are made clear by the fact that for every western soldier they killed, they murdered at least a hundred Muslim men, women, and children.
 
And when they are confronted with these crimes, they often seek vague, erroneous, spurious and invalid edicts to justify and rationalize what is obviously evil.
 
Islam is not a vague religion, especially when it comes to human life. However, these ignorant fanatics seem to have been blinded by their misplaced zeal and ignorance.
 
They thrive and prosper and become quite gleeful upon killing innocent people, whether Muslims or non-Muslims. And they think that by so doing they endear themselves to the Almighty when the opposite is true.
 
Have the killers asked themselves what in the world would justify killing Arrigoni, a man who came all the way from Italy to identify with the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice? What wrong did he do? What crime did he commit? Didn’t they realize that Arrigoni may have done so much for Gaza which has now been besmirched by their cowardly crime?
 
Arrigoni didn’t come to Gaza as an aggressor or invader. He came to show solidarity with its wronged people and highlight the immense oppression meted out to be people by the Nazis of our time, the Zionist Israelis.
 
Hence, the claim that he came to the Land of Islam to spread corruption and disbelief should be treated with the utter contempt it deserves.
 
Again, there is no doubt that these ignoramuses are victims of their ignorance. They don’t represent the true followers of the Prophet (PBUH) who was quoted as saying according to authentic hadith that “whoever oppresses a Mua’hed (a non-Muslim resident or traveler in the land of Islam), or arrogated his rights, or takes something away from him against his will, or forces him to do that which is beyond his ability, I shall be his opponent on the Day of Judgment.”
 
In another hadith, the Prophet said “whoever killed a non-Muslim living in the land of Islam shall not smell the fragrance of paradise; verily its fragrance is smelled from a distance of a 40-year travel.”

we must work to get all instigators to this atrocious crime prosecuted legally and their evil doings blocked

(segue l’ italiano) Today I finally was able to talk to people at the Italian foreign office. Journalists who are card carrying ones get directed to an office, the rest of us have to fill out a form. this is the phone number: +39 06 36911 if you are a journalist. (They also have ability to receieve calls in English). If you are an ordinary citizen, you talk to someone at THIS number +39 06 36911, where a kind man listens to you and then tells you he is unable to do anything but ask you to use 3000 characters to fill out a written declaration. You may do it in Italian or English. I have written this (the English translation will follow) and I kindly ask all of you to please 1) call them to let them know this is an emergency, 2) fill out the form and ask all your contacts to fill it out as well, 3) pressure at least the Italian Foreign Ministry to do their duty to investigate an instigator to an Italian citizen’s assassination. 4) do the same with any other country you think can help, USA in particular, since this is where the site is. 

this is the URL for the complaint: 

http://www.esteri.it/MAE/IT/Ministero/Servizi/Sportello_Info/DomandeFrequenti/FAQRichiestaInfo.htm

http://www.esteri.it/MAE/EN/Ministero/Servizi/Sportello_Info/DomandeFrequenti/FAQRichiestaInfo.htm?LANG=EN 

Vorrei segnalare il sito www.stoptheism.com che celebra la morte di Arrigoni ed in più, il suo autore ha istigato alla morte già in data 2009, http://www.scribd.com/doc/53046178/Israeli-HIT-LIST-Includes-Vittorio-Utopia-Arrigoni. (con foto della istigazione compreso). Chiedo che Lee Kaplan viene indagato come istigatore della morte ed il suo site chiuso immediatamente. http://www.megachip.info/modules.php?name=Sections&op=printpage&artid=8532 (in italiano). 

in English what I wrote, feel free to use it or modify it as you wish: 

I would like to indicate the site www.stoptheism.com that celebrates the death of Arrigoni and in addition, its author has instigated to the death already on the date of 2009, http://www.scribd.com/doc/53046178/Israeli-HIT-LIST-Includes-Vittorio-Utopia-Arrigoni. (with photos of the instigation included). I ask that Lee Kaplan is investigated as an instigator to the assassination and that his site is immediately closed. http://www.megachip.info/modules.php?name=Sections&op=printpage&artid=8532 (in Italian).

ITALIANO

Oggi, finalmente ho potuto parlare con la Farnesina. Giornalisti che hanno le qualifiche professionali sono diretti ad un ufficio, noi altri dobbiamo riempire un modulo. Ecco il numero: 06 36911 se giornalista (possono anche ricevere in inglese). Se solo un privato cittadino, puoi parlare con qualcuno a questo numero: 06 36911, dove un signore gentile ti ascolta e dopo averti detto che non potrebbe fare nulla, ti istruisce di riempire il modulo di segnalazione, con 3000 caratteri a disposizione. (in italiano o inglese). Ho scritto il seguente e chiedo gentilmente a tutti di 1) telefonare per farli capire che è un’emergenza, 2) riempire il modulo e chiedere a tutti i contatti la stessa cosa, 3) mettere pressione almeno sulla Farnesina per fare il loro dovere nell’indagine nell’assassinio di un cittadino italiano, 4) fare lo stesso con ogni paese che crediate potrebbe fare qualcosa, in particolare gli USA dove è registrato il sito.

Vorrei segnalare il sito www.stoptheism.com che celebra la morte di Arrigoni ed in più, il suo autore ha istigato alla morte già in data 2009, http://www.scribd.com/doc/53046178/Israeli-HIT-LIST-Includes-Vittorio-Utopia-Arrigoni. (con foto della istigazione compreso). Chiedo che Lee Kaplan viene indagato come istigatore della morte ed il suo site chiuso immediatamente. http://www.megachip.info/modules.php?name=Sections&op=printpage&artid=8532 (in italiano). 

in inglese, usatelo o modificatelo come ritenete sia giusto: 

I would like to indicate the site www.stoptheism.com that celebrates the death of Arrigoni and in addition, its author has instigated to the death already on the date of 2009, http://www.scribd.com/doc/53046178/Israeli-HIT-LIST-Includes-Vittorio-Utopia-Arrigoni. (with photos of the instigation included). I ask that Lee Kaplan is investigated as an instigator to the assassination and that his site is immediately closed. http://www.megachip.info/modules.php?name=Sections&op=printpage&artid=8532 (in Italian).

UPDATE: THE JOB IS NOT OVER! THE SITE WITH THE SPECIFIC INCITEMENT HAS BEEN CLOSED (WHICH WE HAVE ON ARCHIVES) BUT A SITE WITH A DIFFERENT URL IS STILL THREATENING! DON’T STOP WRITING LETTERS OF COMPLAINT TO HAVE HIM SENTENCED! https://wewritewhatwelike.com/2011/04/18/re-arrigoni-execution-write-to-italian-foreign-office-to-close-kaplan-site-scrivete-alla-farnesina/ TAKE ACTION!!

By Luca Galassi, translated by Mary Rizzo

Lee KaplanLee Kaplan, its author, is being investigated by Interpol

The site of the Jewish fundamentalist Lee Kaplan has been closed. “Stop the ISM”, a site financed by the well-known American David Horowitz, urged on for people to provide information so that the pacifist Vittorio Arrigono could be localised and then eliminated by the Israeli military. For now, awaiting that the Interpol investigations run their course, the ferocity of the words of Kaplan have brought about a rightful elimination as the price to pay. We raised the question in this article (in English here with the archived copy of the original threat to Vittorio and the other activists), highlighting the very serious echo that the words of Kaplan would have had and reconstructing the links of the self-styled “journalist and political analyst” with the Jewish Lobby of the extreme Right.
The Italian embassy at Tel Aviv and the Italian Foreign Ministry, contacted repeatedly by us on the matter have evidently alerted the competent authorities to address this case that regarded our fellow Italian citizen. And, for once, our denouncement was not ignored. 

http://it.peacereporter.net/articolo/13782/Chiuso+il+sito+che+incitava+a+uccidere+il+pacifista+Arrigoni

Tradotto in italiano da Daniela Filippin (Questo omaggio a Vittorio di Jeff Halper è così bello, che non potevo sopportare che non venisse tradotto in italiano):

Dopo aver perso un altro amico e compagno meno di due settimane fa, Juliano Mer-Khamis, mi tocca piangere e ricordare il mio compagno di viaggio di nave Free Gaza, Vittorio (Vik) Arrigoni, brutalmente assassinato ieri notte da estremisti religiosi a Gaza. In realtà; Vik ricordava fisicamente Juliano, per la personalità esuberante e la sua insistenza nell’”esserci” quando gli oppressi avevano bisogno di lui.

Vik era davvero una persona che non potevi non notare. Era così pieno di energia, un misto di gioia, goliardia e impazienza entro i confini di barche e prigioni come Gaza, che all’improvviso ti avrebbe sollevato in aria, o si sarebbe messo a fare la lotta con te – era un ragazzo grosso, forte, bello, vivace e sorridente anche nelle situazioni più pericolose e oppressive, come a dirti: Yaala! A noi e ai pescatori palestinesi, queste navi israeliane che ci sparano, non possono prevalere sulla solidarietà, indignazione e la giustizia della nostra causa! (Vik fu ferito in uno di questi scontri). Ti arrivava da dietro dicendoti: L’occupazione cadrà esattamente così! (lottando con te fino a gettarti a terra, ridendo e giocando con te mentre lo faceva).

Vik, che come me ha ricevuto la cittadinanza palestinese e un passaporto quando abbiamo rotto l’assedio di Gaza salpando nel porto di Gaza nell’agosto 2008, era un esempio supremo di portatore di pace. Nonostante avesse una famiglia in Italia, si è dedicato ai palestinesi col cuore intero, come era solito fare. Sulla sua pagina facebook ha scritto: “Vive a Gaza”. Era conosciuto soprattutto perché accompagnava i pescatori che cercavano di fare il loro lavoro, nonostante gli spari quasi quotidiane della marina israeliana, che li confina alle acque già pescate fino all’esaurimento e sporche di fogna delle cose di Gaza. Almeno diciotto pescatori sono stati uccisi nell’ultimo decennio e circa 200 feriti, molte barche sono state distrutte e molto equipaggiamento danneggiato. Ma era intimamente coinvolto ovunque ci fosse bisogno di lui a Gaza, fra i contadini come fra i bambini traumatizzati, in tempi difficili – il suo libro, Gaza Stay Human, documenta le due esperienze fra la gente durante l’offensiva israeliana di tre settimane nel 2008-09 – e anche essendo semplicemente a contatto con la gente nelle caffetterie e nelle loro case.

Quando è stato appreso che era stato rapito sono spontaneamente sorti centinaia di appelli non solo dalla comunità pacifista internazionale, ma soprattutto dalla popolazione palestinese affranta di Gaza. Un memoriale sarà tenuto oggi a Gaza City e altre parti dei territori occupati.

Vik lavorava nella West Bank come a Gaza, ed è stato imprigionato tre volte prima di essere stato espulso da Israele. Ma il suo lavoro di pace non era solo sotto forma di attivismo. Vik era un maestro della comunicazione – fisica, verbale, scritta (il suo blog, Guerrilla Radio, era uno dei più seguiti in Italia), mischiando con naturalezza esperienze personali, reportage e analisi.

Vik era quello che chiamiamo un “testimone”, qualcuno che fisicamente si mette dalla parte degli oppressi e condivide con loro trionfi, tragedie, sofferenze e speranze. Eppure era uno che attraverso l’azione sperava di influenzare dei veri cambiamenti. Lui, come Juliano, Rachel e molti altri che si sono sacrificati per la pace e la giustizia in Palestina e in tutto il mondo, lasciano un grande vuoto nei nostri cuori, le nostre vite e nella lotta.

Mi mancherai, ragazzo mio. Ma ogni volta che mi sento stanco o scoraggiato, ti sentirò sollevarmi su in alto e sopra la tua testa e, col tuo enorme sorriso e la tua risata, minacciare di gettarmi fuori bordo se solo esito a coinvolgermi in una lotta. Tu eri e sei la forza terrena della lotta contro l’ingiustizia. Ci solleverai sempre su e ci ispirerai. Come i pescatori palestinesi che amavi tanto, noi e tutti gli altri che lottano per le fondamenta della vita in tutto il mondo ci impegneremo per realizzare la tua visione.

Ciao, amico.

Écrit par Pasquale Navarra pour Forum Palestina (traduit en français par Wassyla-Heyett). 

Les causes et la dynamique de l’enlèvement et l’assassinat de Vittorio Arrigoni, activiste et correspondant du Mouvement international de solidarité avec la Palestine dans la bande de Gaza, sont pour le moment en cours de reconstitution. Certaines informations et  évaluations peuvent néanmoins être données, même maintenant.

Vittorio était sur le point de retourner en Italie pour collaborer avec la mission de la flottille de la liberté qui avait décidé de briser en mai le blocus contre les Palestiniens de Gaza, que Vittorio avait systématiquement dénoncé en fournissant une documentation depuis des années.

Vittorio a été découvert déjà mort quand la police palestinienne, aidé par la population locale, a été en mesure de trouver l’endroit où il avait été retenu en otage. L’ultimatum 30 heures n’a été rien de plus qu’un prétexte. Les ravisseurs étaient très jeunes, y compris au moins l’un d’entre eux qui était un citoyen jordanien (et non palestinien). 

Le groupe qui a enlevé et tué Vittorio appartient à cette pléiade de groupes islamistes salafistes, très différents de l’actuel Islam politique que le mouvement Hamas, qui gouverne la bande de Gaza, a comme référence. Ces groupes sont beaucoup plus actifs contre les autres courants islamiques corrompus et les régimes arabes – accusés d’apostasie – qu’ils ne sont opposés à l’occupation israélienne de la Palestine ou de la présence des États-Unis au Moyen-Orient. 

Certains de ces groupes appartiennent au réseau de l’Islam politique qui a comme référence l’Arabie saoudite, est financé et armé par elle. Certains de ces groupes ont déjà provoqué des affrontements et des problèmes très graves dans les camps de réfugiés palestiniens au Liban. 

En ces semaines où les alliances au Moyen-Orient sont brusquement bousculées par les révoltes des peuples et les tensions qui sont présentes dans toute la région, la monarchie saoudienne a établi une alliance avec Israël pour marquer l’ennemi commun représenté par l’Iran et son influence dans la région du Golfe et du Moyen-Orient. Cette alliance a été renforcée par un récent sommet à Moscou auquel participaient à la fois Netanyahu et les dirigeants des services services saoudiens. 

Ces dernières semaines, les autorités israéliennes ont lancé une campagne d’intimidation contre les militants et les campagnes internationales de solidarité avec la Palestine, en particulier contre la flottille de la liberté qui appareillera en mai pour se diriger vers la bande de Gaza, et contre le mouvement de boycott, de désinvestissement et de sanctions contre Israël. Les autorités israéliennes ont demandé aux gouvernements des pays qui ont des navires en partance de leurs côtes ou dans lesquels les campagnes BDS sont importantes, d’intervenir contre les activistes. Le Premier ministre italien Silvio Berlusconi a déjà accepté la demande du gouvernement israélien. Les services secrets israéliens ont été activés pour utiliser tous les moyens nécessaires afin de maintenir les militants internationaux loin de Gaza et de Palestine.

Nous n’avons pas tous les éléments de preuve, mais nous considérons que l’enlèvement et l’assassinat de Vittorio correspond peut-être au sale boulot effectué par les groupes islamistes liés au réseau d’Arabie Saoudite aujourd’hui alliée avec Israël. Le message aux militants internationaux est fort, claire et déconcertant: “Tenez vous loin de Gaza, tenez vous loin de  Palestine”, “Aucune internationalisation de la question palestinienne ne sera tolérée par les autorités de Tel-Aviv et ses alliés”. 

Nous tenons à adresser un message fort et clair à tous ceux qui en Israël ou dans le monde arabe, en Europe ou aux États-Unis entendent ​​resserrer l’étau de l’isolement et de la liquidation autour du droit à l’autodétermination des Palestiniens. Nous le devons à cette population qui se bat pour sa liberté depuis plus de soixante ans et maintenant nous le devons aussi à Vittorio. 

Forum Palestina 

Carlos Latuff's homage to Vittorio Arrigoni

Written by Pasquale Navarra for Forum Palestina (translated by Mary Rizzo)

The causes and the dynamics of the kidnapping and assassination of Vittorio Arrigoni, activist and correspondent of the International Solidarity Movement with Palestine in Gaza, are at the moment being reconstructed. Some information and evaluations can nevertheless be given even now.

Vittorio was about to return to Italy so that he could collaborate with the Freedom Flotilla mission which in May was planning on breaking the siege against the Palestinians of Gaza, a siege that Vittorio had systematically denounced and for years had been documenting.

Vittorio was found already dead when the Palestinian police, helped by the local population, was able to find the place where he had been held hostage. The 30 hour ultimatum was nothing more than a pretext. The kidnappers were very young, including at least one who was a Jordanian citizen (and not Palestinian).

The group that had kidnapped and killed Vittorio belongs to that galaxy of Salafi Islamic groups, very different from the current of Political Islam that the Hamas movement, which governs the Gaza Strip, has as its point of reference. These groups are much more active against the other corrupt Islamic currents and the Arab regimes – accused of apostasy – than they are against the Israeli occupation of Palestine or the USA presence in the Middle East.

Some of these groups belong to the network of Political Islam that has as its reference, is financed and armed by Saudi Arabia. Some of these groups have already provoked clashes and very serious problems in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon.

In these weeks in which the alliances of the Middle East are brusquely shuffled around by the people’s revolts and the tensions that are present in the entire region, the Saudi monarchy has established an alliance with Israel to mark the common enemy represented by Iran and its influence in the Gulf region and the Middle East. This alliance has been strengthened by a recent summit in Moscow in which present were both Netanyahu and the Saudi secret services leaders.

In these weeks the Israel authorities have initiated an intimidation campaign against the activists and the international solidarity campaigns with Palestine, in particular against the Freedom Flotilla which will leave in May, headed towards Gaza and the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. The Israeli authorities have asked the governments of the countries which will have ships leaving from their shores or in which the BDS campaigns are strong to intervene against the activists. The Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi has already accepted the request from the Israeli government. The Israeli secret services have been activated to use any means necessary to keep the international activists far from Gaza and from Palestine.

We do not have all the evidence, but we consider that the kidnapping and assassination of Vittorio possibly fits into the dirty work carried out by the Islamic groups tied to the Saudi Arabian network that today is allied with Israel. The message to the international activists is loud, clear and disconcerting: “Stay far away from Gaza, stay far away from Palestine”, “No internationalisation on the Palestinian question will be tolerated by the authorities of Tel Aviv and its allies”.

We would like to send a loud and clear message to all those who in Israel or in the Arab world, in Europe or the United States intend upon tightening the noose of isolation and liquidation around the right of self-determination of the Palestinians. We owe it to this population that has been fighting for its freedom for over sixty years and now we also owe it to Vittorio.

Il Forum Palestina

Goodbye, Vik

Written by Luca Galassi for PeaceReporter. Translated by Mary Rizzo

Vittorio Arrigoni was strangled by his kidnappers during a blitz by the armed faction of Hamas in the flat where he was held hostage in Gaza City.

Vittorio Arrigoni is dead. His body was found during the night at approximately 1:50 in a flat in the Gaza Strip, in the Qaram quarter, in the outskirts of Gaza City. The news was first disseminated by the Hamas sources and then confirmed to PeaceReporter by an activist of the International Solidarity Movement. Hamas, the Islamic movement that controls the territory of the Strip was unable to mediate to bring about his liberation. Or perhaps they did not even try. According to what has been reported by the movement’s spokesman, following indications of one of the members of the ultra-radical group (as in original Italian) interrogated in the early afternoon, the security forces surrounded the area in which Vittorio was being held captive, giving way to a blitz that turned into an armed clash, the result of which was the injuring of some Salafi militants, two of them arrested, while the others are still being sought.

It is unclear how and when Vittorio was assassinated, even if the Hamas spokesman, Yiab Hussein, declared in a press conference held shortly after 3 AM that Arrigoni had been killed approximately three hours prior to the blitz, without however explaining how it was possible to establish the details of the death with such exactness. An ISM volunteer arrived at the place he was found and recognised the body at 3:10. “He had his hands tied behind his back, he was lying on a mattress.” The woman told PeaceReporter that Hamas security organs also told her and the other members of the ISM who went to the flat where Vittorio is said to have been killed that he had died several hours before their arrival. The pacifist has been strangled, even if, from the account given to PeaceReporter by the volunteer, there were various kinds of injuries behind his neck. “He still had the blindfolding over his eyes, and he lost blood from behind his head. There were marks from handcuffs around his wrists.”

The evening before the kidnapping, Arrigoni went to the gym. Then he had made a call to book a table at the restaurant where he often had dinner. He said he would be there around 22:00. At 22:30, not seeing him arrive, the restaurant rang him. But Vittorio did not answer. No one was worried, because often he would turn off his mobile phone. After dinner he was expected to meet with a friend and the next morning would have gone to Rafah to visit with some Palestinian families together with his colleagues of the ISM, who had also tried to contact him after the gym, but in vain. Vittorio was kidnapped as soon as he left the gym.

His body was transferred during the night to Shifa Hospital of Gaza, where a post-mortem examination was carried out and his death certificate was drafted. The Italian pacifist was kidnapped yesterday by a Salafi Islamic group that, in a film on YouTube, threatened to kill him if within 30 hours, starting from 11:00 local time, the Hamas government did not liberate some Salafi detainees. Vittorio was killed without even half the time that the kidnappers stated as the limit having passed, much earlier than the moment they announced in their ultimatum. He was killed without even an indication that a negotiation was started for his release. Unfortunately, there are many questions which are not easy to find answers to. With his death, the world loses one of the most fervent supporters of the Palestinian cause. A war journalist. And a friend. Goodbye, Vik.

http://it.peacereporter.net/articolo/27991/Lo+hanno+ucciso.+Addio,+Vik

Filmed account of how Palestinians attempt to harvest their olives in the face of every sort of vexation and obstacle. Very telling in this video by Amos Zuckerman are the comments that were broadcast on Israeli TV from settlers and soldiers. See it on PTT TV https://wewritewhatwelike.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/destroyed-trees-thumb1.jpgptt-tv/

INTERVIEWED BY Kourosh Ziabari

 

Adam Shapiro, the symbol of a courageous, pure peace advocate, has long been under fire for his unconditional and categorical criticism of Israeli occupying state.

Born in 1972, the perseverant and steadfast anti-Zionist campaigner and co-founder of International Solidarity Movement vigorously makes efforts to broadcast the voice of subjugated and downtrodden nation of Palestine.

Following his meeting with Yasser Arafat in his Mukataa (government center) in Ramallah while it was besieged during the March 2002 Israeli military operation in the West Bank and Gaza, Adam Shapiro attained an international popularity and was put under the spotlight of Zionist media thereafter.

Despite enduring a stack of insults and invectives from the side of Zionist campaign in the past years, Adam Shapiro neither has relinquished nor alleviated his stance so far; rather intensified his anti-Zionist statements in the particular situations such as the horrendous 22 days of Israeli incursion into Gaza.

This interview has been done in the midst of Israeli genocide in Gaza as it’s apparent in some points of the conversation; nevertheless, it contains some informative and revealing information which are prone to be read and reflected thoughtfully.

 

Would you please elucidate about the salient and prominent activities which you usually carry out in the International Solidarity Movement? What are your agenda, modus operandi and plans to help the survivors of recent offensive in Gaza?

                  

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) started off in 2001 as an effort to join international solidarity to the Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation and oppression. This was through the joining of foreign activists with Palestinian activists in civilian-based non-violent active resistance in the west bank and Gaza. this kind of popular resistance has always been part of the Palestinian movement, and we felt that adding the international component would force the world to recognize that the conflict was not about Jew vs. Arab or Jew vs. Muslim, but rather a situation of oppression and discrimination based on ethnicity and religion in a sense similar to the anti-apartheid movement in south Africa.

Nowadays, the ISM role continues in this way, but is also more and more involved with being an eyewitness and reporting on the atrocities of what is happening to the Palestinian people. ISM volunteers spend longer periods of time in the territories and get to know the situation in depth.  

Currently ISM has 5 volunteers in the Gaza Strip, who are responding during this assault on the people of Gaza – they are escorting ambulances and medical personnel who are responding to emergency calls; they are documenting what is happening and reporting out to the world, even as the Zionist government bars foreign journalists; they are assisting in the distribution of food and water as they can and to areas that are under major threat; and they are documenting evidence of war crimes, such as the use of white phosphorous artillery shells.

According to what you said, one effective and impressive choice that could help the progressive flow of Palestinians’ extrication and release from the harsh situation is to promote the notion of imposing sanctions, embargo on Israel. How is it possible to boycott and isolate the terrorist regime in the international stage?

 

There is a call from Palestinian civil society to boycott Israel, and it is for this reason that we are compelled to adhere to this call. That said, sanctions will most likely be symbolic at best, given the penetration of businesses in Israel and the difficulty to render such an impact.  Symbolically, however the boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) campaign is very useful, particularly in the west, where it enables us to alter the debate away from spurious charges of anti-Semitism towards pointing out specifically why such measures are necessary.  Additionally, the academic and cultural boycott can have tangible results, forcing Israeli academics, artists and intellectuals to confront the reality of their own position and force them to take a stand.  There are very credible and valuable efforts in this regard, including a recent determination by a UK-based teachers union.  However, in a sense, we need to remember that far more dramatic action is required, given that this situation for the Palestinians has been going on for 60 years, and the scale of the devastation and oppression of the entire Palestinian people is at such a level that symbolic actions – while good – do not meet the urgency of the situation.

 

Nevertheless, US and its European allies flagrantly veto any anti-Israeli resolution which comes on the top of UNSC agenda and don’t allow the international community to express its unequivocal and clear condemnation of Israeli massacre freely. What’s the reason, in your view, and how can that be opposed?


The reason has to do with domestic factors for the US more than anything else.  I think for the European nations it is connected to the lingering guilt over the holocaust, a situation that is exploited by Israel and some of the Jewish organizations in those countries to maintain a code of silence when it comes to clearly calling out Israel for what has been a 60-year effort of crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.  For the US, there really is no organized constituency willing to vote or donate to politicians campaigns based on this issue. Those who would are small in number and largely ineffective.  the pro-Israel lobby in the US  is not only among the organized Jewish community, but includes Christian Zionists, the military-industrial complex in the US, the information technology industry, the biotech industry, the medical community and others, all of which have significant relationships with Israel from a business perspective. This all has repercussions in the US political system and set the parameters of the debate in the US around us support for Israel. 
 

That said, I also think the Palestinian leadership has missed opportunities over the years, but most importantly it accepted the framework of peace as a means of addressing the conflict, which helped set up a false sense of parity between the two parties. Instead of maintaining a position of national liberation, or creating a movement based on equal rights or ending oppression/discrimination, the choice for 2 states in the framework of peacemaking has helped allow the us and others to ‘blame both sides’.

All of these inconsistencies aside, neither the American double standards about the Israel’s nuclear case are bearable. They are folding their arms and sitting back relaxed while everybody, even ex-President Carter has confessed that Israel deposits 200 nuclear warheads!

 

Indeed, on this point in particular the hypocrisy reaches the level of absurd. Add to the points you raise in the question to the fact that Israel has been at war more than any other state in the region and almost always as the initiator and aggressor; not only in the formal wars, but also in the cross-border skirmishes, as occurred with Egypt and Lebanon in the past. If any regime in the region was volatile and prone to use military force it is Israel. A s such, there should be great world concern about its weapons of mass destruction, also since we have seen that Israel is willing to use dubious weapons and disproportionate force such as we witnessed in Lebanon in 2006 (cluster bombs) and Gaza today (white phosphorous artillery).

 

Accordingly, it seems that the mainstream media are pusillanimously afraid of the Israeli tyrannical lobby which rules the global corporate media. They censor any kind of news reflecting demonstrations, condemnations and anti-Israeli remarks by the world’s statesmen. How can they justify this unilateral and hostile approach in conveying the information? 

 

I think many of the same factors that influence how the US and European governments act also influence the media’s role. But there is also an element of having a media strategy that requires examination. Israel and its allies around the world have a clear, organized and effective media strategy to promote the messaging and images that they want. Sure, there is media bias, but it would be false to think that that bias is the beginning and the end. After all, I know many journalists who cover the conflict and who seek to promote different perspectives in their newspapers and broadcasts. On the Palestinian side, there really is not an effective media strategy, and certainly not one that is organized. Some of these very practical details can make a very big difference in the coverage of the issue.  While I don’t think this can fully overcome the bias that does exist, it can start making changes in the overall system.

I also think with the advent of new media, including Al-Jazeera and Press TV in particular, mainstream western media outlets are being challenged and being forced to change. Even the BBC’s own Arabic service has forced a certain change in BBC’s English service, which while subtle, nonetheless has important consequences.

Finally, I think it is also somewhat easy to overcount the media, in that worldwide, the Palestinian position of justice and ending occupation and oppression is the majority opinion, despite the media coverage.  It is not world opinion that necessarily needs to change; it is the actions of governments.

So what actions are needed to administer justice about Israel? How could the world’s countries prevent it from committing further, predictable atrocities and seeking adventurous war-games in the region?

 

There needs to be unequivocal action in the international community to force Israel to end is aggression in Gaza.  This should entail full suspension of diplomatic relations (as we have seen in Venezuela and Bolivia); full arms embargo on Israel; and the establishment of a criminal court under the ICC (mandated by the Security Council) to bring forward war crimes charges.  while these maybe long-shots, we have to remember that the Palestinian people, unlike virtually any other people in the world, are wholly dependent on the international community to act to help, both because it is the international community that is responsible for the original partitioning and displacement of the Palestinians and because Palestinians do not have a state, an army or any means of self-defense.  The UN General Assembly can also act and take dramatic action, and it should – and this would be a way to overcome a us veto.

 

And what about an international investigation on the illegal employment of unconventional weapons, mass killing of women and children, beleaguering the densely-populated strip for a long time and killing journalists, media correspondents and representatives of international communities? 

There needs to be a tribunal established to try these crimes committed in Gaza.  But this is truly not sufficient. The crimes of 60 years need to be addressed.  Because of the impunity Israel has enjoyed since 1948, the lesson it learned is that there are no consequences for its actions and no limits. The Palestinians have borne the brunt of that ‘freedom to act’ for 60 years. It is not enough to say what Israel is doing in Gaza today is too much. What was done in Deir Yassin, in Tantoura, in Lid, in the Jenin refugee camp, in Israeli prisons, and hundreds of other places and over the course of years, has been beyond the limit of international law and human rights. Of course, I would welcome justice for the crimes committed in Gaza, but this should just be the beginning.