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Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Vittorio Arrigoni and Non-Violent Resistance


UPDATE: Hamas spokesman--yes spokesman--Fawzi Barhoum has accused Israel of being behind this. How long did that take? 


Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian activist, has been found hanged in the Gaza Strip hours after being abducted by a Salafist group linked to al Qaeda

In the video posted on YouTube, Arrigoni appeared to have been beaten and his eyes were covered with thick black tape.

A caption on the video read: "The Italian hostage entered our land only to spread corruption." The video called Italy "the infidel state".

Arrigoni arrived in the Gaza Strip on a boat bringing humanitarian supplies in 2008. (It is often forgotten that quite some number of these boats were permitted to enter Gaza after the blockade was imposed):

Before Free Gaza's boats set sail on [Friday 23 August 2008], the Israeli foreign ministry had said they wanted the activists to steer clear of the Gazan coastline, which it said was "the subject of an [Israeli Navy] advisory notice" that warns off foreign vessels from the "designated maritime zone".

But on Saturday, an Israeli spokesman said they would be allowed in.

"They wanted provocation at sea, but they won't get it," foreign ministry spokesman Aviv Shiron told the AFP news agency.

"We know who the passengers are and what they are bringing with them and so we have no problem letting them through."

 In 2008, Vittorio Arrigoni described a confrontation he'd had that day with the Israeli navy: 

The Israeli Officer, so iron-willed and authoritarian when barking orders in Hebrew at his soldiers and in English (with a distinctly Australian accent) at me, had nothing to say in reply to my simple query. These soldiers, all muscles and stony coldness, are trained to kill a man in less than a second (or less when he's Palestinian), without even batting an eyelid. But it's obvious they're unable to willingly grasp the meaning of simple terms such as “right to exist” and “right of sustenance”.

Since we were far from Israeli borders, I told the Israeli Officer I didn't recognize his authority, nor their right to kidnap myself and my friends, the fishermen. I therefore decided I would resist passively, non-violently. I climbed onto the cabin roof, and from there onto the iron structure used as a jib to lift the fishing nets, at the boat's stern. Three soldiers followed me, pointing guns in my face. Their eyes behind the black balaklavas seemed to me like the best representation of hatred that I had ever seen, a hatred taught in years of lessons learnt off by heart, on how to best defeat an enemy, even when that enemy doesn't exist. 

I guess we're not going to read his account of how well non-violent resistance worked for him this time. 

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.


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