Why did Tawhid wal-Jihad want Vittorio Arrigoni dead?Here's an interview with ISM founder Huwaida Arraf about murdered Italian 'peace activist' Vittorio Arrigoni. Watch how she is careful not to blame 'Palestinians' for Arrigoni's death. Well, who else killed him?
Let's go to the videotape.
The theme of not blaming 'Palestinians' - and by implication blaming Israel - for Arrigoni's death has been consistent in the 'Palestinian' reaction.
Here's a picture from a demonstration on Friday that promotes the theme.
Much more on the 'Palestinian' reaction to Arrigoni here.
But maybe there's another connection between Arrigoni and Rachel Corrie. Recall the following that I posted last summer.
She was propelled, in part, by frustration. During the past few days she and the nine other ISM activists had become preoccupied with an anonymous letter circulating through Rafah that cast suspicion on the human shields. "Who are they? Why are they here? Who asked them to come here?" it asked. The letter referred to Corrie and the other expatriate women in Rafah as "nasty foreign bitches" whom "our Palestinian young men are following around." It was a sobering reminder that outsiders -- even international do-gooders -- were untrustworthy in the eyes of some Palestinians.And the connection to Arrigoni? Consider the following from the Salafists' statement to the news media (Hat Tip: David G).
That morning, the ISM team tried to devise a strategy to counteract the letter's effects. "We all had a feeling that our role was too passive. We talked about how to engage the Israeli military," Richard "Fuzz" Purssell told me by phone from Great Britain. "We had teams working in the West Bank, going up to checkpoints, presenting a human face to soldiers. But in Rafah we'd only seen the Israelis at a distance." And as is so often the case in the Middle East, lack of any humanizing interaction meant that the idf and the ISM knew each other only by their worst acts. Few activists had spent much time in Israel or spoken to soldiers except in moments of conﬂict; the soldiers experienced the peace activists only as nuisances who were getting in their way in highly volatile situations. That morning, team members made a number of proposals that seemed designed only to aggravate the problem. Purssell, for instance, suggested marching on a checkpoint that had been the site of several suicide attacks. "The idea was to more directly challenge the Israeli military dominance using our international status," Purssell told me.
In a YouTube clip posted earlier by his abductors, Arrigoni was shown blindfolded with blood around his right eye. A hand was seen pulling his head up by his hair to face the camera.But the demand for al-Sa'eedni's release was gratuitous. Arrigoni was murdered long before the deadline for the exchange came. It seemed that the Salafist group Tawhid wal-Jihad wanted Arrigoni dead for reasons that had nothing to do with a failed prisoner exchange. Why? Look at what I highlighted in the press release, and recall that Italian President Silvio Berlusconi has been under attack of late for paying for sex with a 17-year old prostitute. Could it be that Arrigoni was 'spreading the love' to the women folk of Gaza a bit too generously? Is that why Tawhid wal-Jihad referred to him 'spreading corruption' and described Italy as 'the infidel state'?
"The Italian hostage entered our land only to spread corruption," an accompanying Arabic text said, describing Italy as "the infidel state." It named the captors' leader as Hesham al-Sa'eedni and demanded he be released from a Hamas prison.
Or is there nothing to see here and we should just move on?