52 thoughts on “NY Times Nonsense on Arrigoni Murder – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.

  1. Peace activists have been desperate to get into Gaza since Rachel was murdered, but Israel slammed the door shut shortly after James Miller and Tom Hurndall were murdered just a few weeks after Rachel. This is a major reason we formed the Free Gaza Movement, so that people who wanted to go to Gaza to visit their friends could do so. After the deaths of Rachel, James and Tom, the people of Gaza were more isolated than ever, and we decided we wouldn’t wait any longer for Israel to let us in. Israel had been proclaiming ever since they removed the illegal settlers that Gaza was no longer occupied, that the people of Gaza were free. Our goal in sending the boats was to challenge them, knowing it was a win-win situation for us. If they stopped us it would be proof Gaza was still in effect occupied, and if they didn’t stop us we would achieve our goal of reaching Gaza.
    Nothing Israel has done or might do will discourage us from going to Palestine. Every time they attack a boat, murder a passenger or an peace worker in Gaza or the West Bank, a hundred more beg to take their place. Israel just doesn’t get it. We will not be intimidated.

  2. Nobody really cares what Palestinian faction did the actual killing. When you legitimize innocent civilians murder as mean to an end, why are you surprised other faction use it for theirs ? The problem is not this faction or another one, the problem is much more fundamental.

    1. Free Man, when you refer to the legitimization of murder of innocent civilians, I presume you are also referring to the massacre of thousands of Palestinians by Israel since the beginning of this conflict.

      Terror is also practiced by nation-states, not just those lacking in their own air forces.

      1. I’m sorry that you buy the Palestinian propaganda this way.
        Israel has never issued an order to kill civilians.
        I know that some people fail to understand the difference, but I still try.
        If you want to endorce the kind of moral that legitimize this kind of action, then we have nothing to talk about. Actualy, I find your response kind of a smoke screen, when it is uncomfy to talk about “your side” ethics, lets divert it to the other side.

        1. “Israel has never issued an order to kill civilians.”

          Ex-members of the IDF have told me differently. A brief look at the conflict’s history corroborates their testimony. You don’t have to dig too deep into the staggering civilian death toll before you realise that this is not an accident.

        2. Israel has never issued an order to kill civilians.

          What do you call the free fire zones established during Cast Lead in which soldiers were ordered to kill anything that moved & ordered to assume anything that did move was enemy?

  3. Actually, the best way for religious and right-wing groups to appear more moderate is to find someone more extreme than them. It doesn’t really work for the lefties because the left places less emphasis on tribalism and more on solidarity between different people and reducing inequality. That’s why triangulation hardly ever works and is disastrous in the long run.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t discard the notion that this assassination benefits Bibi and Israeli government in the short run. Making the world believe that the situation in Gaza is similar to Pakistan and Afganistan with Al-Qaeda gaining a foothold would allow Bibi to claim that the situation is not stable enough to hold any talks or discuss a peace initiative. Pathetic but true.

  4. “What NY Times reporters won’t tell you, is that Israel itself has a great deal of difficulty restraining its own settler types who espouse homicidal political views and perpetrate ***similar acts of mayhem on a regular basis.*** ”

    Really?! When did Israeli settlers butcher palestinian families in their beds? When did the setllers abduct and kill a peace activist?
    When did the settlers fire rockets at civilians from populated areas?

    “…These are the conditions in which extremism and violence thrives. If the siege ended the radical crazies would no longer have any recruiting ground.”

    Of course, morality and free will have nothing to do with it. Palestinians, unlike other humans, cannot choose to go beyond their conditions and are bound to become “radical crazies”. How wonderfully condescending of you, Mr Silverstein.

    “One thing you can be sure is that Hamas will eventually capture Arrigoni’s killers and they will face justice. Though I hope it is not the form of justice meted out sometimes by the IDF to Palestinian militants suspected of murdering Israelis–at the barrel of a gun.”

    Of course, the Hamas’ justice system is famous for it due process ad consideration of human rights. Not that YOU can see beyond your ideological spectacles, but the group that killed arigoni blamed Hamas’ treatment of the Salafi’s for the murder.

    “They see what they want to see and disregard the rest.” – Yeah, completely unlike you.

    1. When did Israeli settlers butcher palestinian families in their beds?

      Oh, please. You don’t even know your own history. You didn’t see the picture of the blood stained bed of a 70 yr old Palestinian man murdered in his bed while his wife prayed in the next room? That happened about 2 months ago. IDF did that. What about the E. Jerusalem taxi driver murdered by the French-Israeli who was stabbed multiple times after being lured to an apt. Or Weissgan offering a ride to a group of Palestinian workers & then massacring them. Does it make a diff. if someone is murdered in their bed or in a car or in a living room?

      When did the setllers abduct and kill a peace activist?

      The IDF doesn’t need to abduct people. IT can arrest anyone it wishes whenever it wishes. And it can also kill Palestinians in cold blood without benefit of trial. And settlers don’t need to engage in any of the acts you question because their own national army commits mayhem on their behalf on a regular basis.

      Morality & free will have as much to do with Palestinian terror as they do with IDF/settler terror. You know as well as I that settlers have no compunction about murdering unarmed Palestinian farmers in their fields & have done so on more than one occasion.

      Israel’s justice system when it comes to security suspects isn’t much better than Hamas’.

      As for ideological spectacles, yours are firmly on your nose. And you haven’t wiped your lenses clean in about a decade or more. I don’t disregard anything except your nonsense. I’ve condemned the killings in Itamar and of Arrigoni. You however, have never condemned the murder of Palestinian civilians. When you do, then you can talk. Till them, you’re a hasbarist and not a very good one either.

      And DO NOT publish comments twice. ONce is enough.

  5. Jeff Halper has some beautiful words on Vittorio Arrigoni:

    Abbas expressed yesterday that the killing of an activist that risked his life defending the Palestinians is considered “treason” and those responsable risk the death penalty.

    Ismail Haniyeh called Vittorio’s mother personally to pay his condoleances, and said that a street in Gaza would be named after him. Vittorio/ Victor/the victorious, what’s better for naming a street ?
    The best way to pay respect to this hero is by buying his book “Stay Human”:

  6. The Israeli government is frustrated that despite its having murdered nine passengers on board the MAVI MARMARA, thousands more are lined up to join the upcoming flotilla, now named “Freedom Flotilla 2 – Stay Human” in honor of Vik.

    Far from being discouraged by Israel’s acts of piracy against several boats, or by the deaths of her son and other activists in Gaza, Vittorio’s mother has now announced she will be sail to Gaza with this new flotilla.

    1. I find blaming the victim for his own death deeply offensive. Plus I do not publish racist comments here. IF you want to smear Palestinians you can do it thousands of other places. I have comment rules. If you break them you won’t be published. If you don’t, you will.

      1. Really Richard

        Please put up my comment and let others juge if it was racist.

        I take extreme issue with being called a racist.

        It is a shame that you tarr the issues with calling legitimtae posts and questions racist. Thanks for stifiling the debate.

          1. Oh, you mean other than claiming Arrigoni was murdered because he was gay and that no Westerners are safe in Gaza & that anyone who thinks he can be safe there is a fool…you mean other than those bigoted, unfounded statements?

        1. No, I manage the blog. The readers don’t. We don’t take votes on things around here. I have comment rules. You read them. You follow them. If you don’t understand the rules, you ask. If you break the rules, you don’t get published. That’s how it works.

          If you don’t like being called a racist then don’t write things that are racist.

          1. I actually think that your comment regarding my racism is disgusting.

            I actually feel sorry for you.

          2. No, I think it’s you who’s disgusting. And don’t bother feeling sorry for me. I don’t need it from the likes of you. People who spread unsubstantiated rumors that a murder victim was gay & that he should expect to be murdered in Gaza receive nothing but scorn from me.

  7. Richard, can you learn and publish a monthly statistics of how many Palestinians and Jews are murdered in Israel and in Gaza and in West Bank, and by whom (as far as may be known) with words on any police action that takes place?

    It is one thing to SAY (as you do above) that there are murderous thugs among the settlers; it is another to QUANTIFY this so that “new-learners” in the I/P situation can get a feeling for what the Palestinians (and Israelis, for that matter) are facing.

  8. The media in the UK did mostly report, presumably accurately, that he was murdered by a group opposed to Hamas.

    1. It could turn out to be the case, but I don’t think we can know that UK media knows what happened. So far it’s speculation.

    2. The UK media is as hypocritic as can be.
      Just the other night I saw an interview with some doctor in Lybia and the interviewer asked with empathic voice “Kadafi also sent some grad missiles at you which are so much worse than cluster bombs?”
      While Israel cities are being hit by grad missiles for years and do the BBC bother to report it ? No.

      1. The BBC has reported extensively on these things. The most recent BBC article about Grad missiles being fired from Gaza was published online last week, on 9th April. There was another article before that on 24th March. Glancing through the BBC archives, I see similar articles from January and February – and this is for 2011 alone. I don’t think you can fairly accuse them of not giving coverage to these attacks.

        You can fairly accuse them of being hypocritical. In the aftermath of Cast Lead, the Disasters Emergency Committee (a consortium of UK charities and human rights organisations that work in disaster relief) prepared a fundraising appeal to help their work in Gaza. As with all DEC appeals, this one was printed in national newspapers, broadcast on national radios, and featured on national TV – by every media outlet except the BBC. The BBC decided that it would be compromising its impartiality to broadcast the appeal – which is strange, as they have never had any qualms about broadcasting DEC appeals for war-torn areas before, in situations that were just as politically charged. But in this instance it was apparently more important to them that they preserve their image than assist in the delivery of hospital supplies to Gaza at a time when doctors were having to operate without anaesthetic because the shortages were so acute.

      2. As Vicky pointed out, the BBC reports extensively about Hamas launching missiles and rockets on Israeli cities. Just search their news site for “Grad”, “Hamas”, “Missiles” and you will find the reports. The question is therefore, why do you falsely claim that the BBC does not bother to report it? Seeing as your claims are unfounded do you wish to apologize for making them?

  9. Well, you know, to make it all around the siege, that’s kinda lame. If it wesn’t for the siege Gaza would most likely become much more armed and much less safe, and not the tree-hugging entity you presume it to be. While I recognize Israel’s responsibility over the Gaza situation the palestinians are most and foremost victims of their own rulers. No sane country on earth would let a terror entity such as Hamastan to arm oneself freely on its doorstep and it is immoral to expect Israel to do so.

    1. If it wesn’t for the siege Gaza would most likely become much more armed and much less safe

      Gaza gets virtually any weapon it wants (up to a pt) through smuggling. The siege only harms commerce and personal freedom. It has no impact whatsoever on the level of armaments. Palestinians are victims of Israel. If they were allowed to choose their own rulers & govern themselves & Israel got the hell out of the way, then Palestinians could properly be blamed for their own screw-ups if they made any. Right now, that’s not the case by a long shot.

      And if you use the racist term “Hamastan” again you’ll be banned. Read the comment rules.

      Immmorality is mostly on Israel’s side I’m afraid.

      1. “The siege only harms commerce and personal freedom.”

        What are you talking about? Israel has prevented numerous terror attacks and weapon smuggling that were carried out through the sea.

        The Palestinias actually were allowed to choose their own rulers. And they chose Hamas. You know, treating the Palestinians as helpless children, unable to bear any blame is no less racist. Saying that Israel is the principal immoral side is wearing ideological blinders, if not worse.

        1. Hamas only came into existence in 1987.

          The ethnic cleansing took place in 1948, forty years previously. The West Bank and Gaza were occupied in 1967. During the years between 1948 and 1987, the Palestinians faced enforced poverty, land theft, periods of martial law, massacres, house demolitions, collective punishment, and more. Hamas wasn’t created in a vacuum. It was born of these experiences – and bolstered by the intervention of successive Israeli governments, which has quite deliberately and openly encouraged factionalism in Palestinian society. It’s one thing to walk to the ballot box from a comfortable house with plentiful running water and vote for another party like Hamas. It’s quite another if you already live in a very difficult situation, the other political parties are shot through with corruption, and you’re struggling to envisage life ever getting any better.

          Palestinians do not bear blame for this. They do bear responsibility – and they shoulder it. The non-violent resistance movement in Palestine is strong and growing stronger. People in this movement are treated as terrorists (my boss was arrested a few weeks ago, with no reason given) because it makes the occupation authorities nervous. If the image of the Palestinian-as-terrorist is destroyed, the convenient excuses for the ongoing theft and dispossession will be destroyed with it. That’s not something that the government is keen to see happen. This is why you hear so little about the movement and its work within Israel. You will hear about rockets being fired from Gaza; you won’t hear about the university student I met in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque last Saturday who told me that he has to love the settlers in Beit Hadassah because they are people too. (People who chucked a live cobra inside the living room of a neighbouring family and who make a sport of throwing corrosive acid in the residents’ faces, as it happens.) Or the man who leaned down off his balcony when being screamed at by a soldier (“Get off there! Get inside! If you don’t move now, we’re coming to get you!”) to say, “Friend, you need to calm down. Please talk to me more gently.” These people are making a significant difference in their society. You won’t know it because how many Israelis ever visit here and see? Most are dependent on the press for their information, so they don’t fully understand the enormity of the occupation and how it destroys lives, or the different ways in which Palestinians try to regain life. Sometimes they choose violent means, but that can be changed. It’s just that siege and occupation aren’t the way to change it – they only make violence worse.

          Gaza’s desalination plant was destroyed in Cast Lead. The siege means that it has been impossible to restore it. By consequence, 90% of Gazan drinking water is unfit for use. 98% of Gazan children suffer from some degree of medical malnutrition (with 16% experiencing chronic third-degree malnutrition). This is what you are holding up as an example of necessary protection. Do you honestly feel safer in your bed to know that people are dying by degrees, denied access to the most basic necessities of life? This just makes life more dangerous for everybody.

        2. The plain fact of the matter is that there are more than enough weapons currently in Gaza to go around & Hamas is hardly short of materials for making them which come through the tunnels. You said the siege made Gaza less violent or less capable of perpetrating violence & this is not true.

          Palestinians chose Hamas and Israel laid siege to Gaza for it. When I said Israel should step back & allow Palestinians to choose their leaders I didn’t mean to say Israeli should step back only if Palestinians chose leaders of whom Israel approved. Democracy means allowing someone to choose the leader they want, not the one you want.

          Don’t make the idiotic attempt to call me racist. I find this not only stupid, but offensive.

          1. “there are more than enough weapons currently in Gaza to go around & Hamas is hardly short of materials for making them which come through the tunnels.”

            So, let’s see if I got this correctly: when it comes to arms, the siege is meaningless and the Palestinians can actually do whatever they want; when it comes to commerce, the siege is withholding the Palestinians of the normal conditions you and I enjoy. What?!

            Another thing: there is a great deal of difference between sea and land transport. The amount and quality of weapons that a ship can contain is uncomparable to the tunnels. Ask the Iranians, they know it better than me. While I dont disregard the burden the siege throws on Palestinian commerce and freedoms, it is dishonest to overlook its justified purposes.

            Indeed, Hamas is the democratically elected representitive of the Palestinian people. But, that’s all there is to say about Hamas and democracy. Once they were in charge, they threw their P.A counterparts off the rooftop, literally. So what’s all the fuss about Hamas’ democratic rights&values? If they don’t respect it, why should you?

            “Don’t make the idiotic attempt to call me racist.”

            Fine. Don’t do it either.

            Vicky, I’m not gonna argue against your historical interpretation. We are both upset by the current status of the Palestinians and I’m hopeful that by year’s end we will witness the birth of a Palestinian state.

          2. @ Tomer)
            “Indeed Hamas is the democratically elected representative of the Palestinian people ….Once they were in charge, they threw their P.A. counterparts off the rooftop, literally”.

            Strange, how historial revisionnism can distort events, like turning upside-down the chronology …

          3. And Hamas engaged in such brutality for no reason whatsoever as Fatah was pure as the driven snow. Let’s ask Tomer if he’s spent any time inside a Mohammed Dahlan prison cell enduring the tortures his thugs inflicted on anyone not on “their team.”

          4. It’s possible to smuggle in guns and weapon components through tunnels. It’s not possible to smuggle in water, which is absolutely vital if Palestinians are to have anything approaching a normal life. It’s not possible to smuggle in the quantities of concrete and cement that are needed to rebuild everything that was destroyed during Cast Lead, or the heavy machinery that is needed for construction work. Over five thousand Gazan families are still living in tents after their homes were bombed in Cast Lead, and all the charities active in Gaza have repeatedly and explicitly spoken about the difficulty they have in getting basic supplies into the Strip because of the siege. As for commerce, smuggling is not a viable way for an entire country to conduct its exports, so how can Gaza possibly participate in commerce? Surely you see that an ability to smuggle weapon components (easily portable) does not denote an ability to build a flourishing economy.

            “Vicky, I’m not gonna argue against your historical interpretation. We are both upset by the current status of the Palestinians and I’m hopeful that by year’s end we will witness the birth of a Palestinian state.”

            It’s not my personal interpretation. It’s mainstream in academia. It only appears novel to citizens of the country whose government warns teachers against teaching about the Nakba in schools, and has recently passed a law against public institutions holding commemorative mourning events. These two things alone should be enough to make people suspicious that they have not been given the whole story. Governments are not this repressive unless they have something to hide.

            As for being upset about the Palestinians’ plight, feeling upset is not the same as wanting justice. If you say, “I am upset about what has happened to you – but it’s your own fault, and I didn’t do anything to cause these problems, and you must sort them out yourselves,” then your wish for a Palestinian state is meaningless. A Palestinian state requires an acknowledgement of Palestinian suffering and Palestinian history. So long as there is no awareness of their story, there will be no state.

            I appreciate that it is much harder for an Israeli to accept this than it is for me, as the government-sponsored suppression of the Nakba and the peddling of national creation myths in schools are accompanied by a large serving of fear and guilt. People are tricked into believing that if they even dare to think these things, they’re being traitorous and colluding in the wiping of their country off the map. Others feel that exploring this historical narrative would be like admitting guilt on a personal level, and they don’t see why they should have to feel guilty for things they didn’t do. Neither of these are true. A thorough exploration of its history can only strengthen Israel as a nation (although it will admittedly be a different kind of nation at the end of the process). And taking responsibility for what was done in their name doesn’t make anybody guilty, it just makes them free.

  10. “They see what they want to see and disregard the rest.”

    I think you should avoid this type of conclusion. It ‘s way too easy to throw it back at you!!!

    1. Nonsense. As I wrote in reply to the same statement in a diff. comment I see everything clearly. I just don’t draw the same conclusion as you & don’t place weight on the same matters as you. I acknowledge the wrongs of both parties when they are wrong. THe problem for you is that Israel never does wrong while I see it differently. That’s what disturbs you.

  11. Richard, with all due respect, when you’re writing about others making questionable claims, you do no service when you write……
    “Israel killed Rachel Corrie…”

    If you’re willing to write as broadly as that, you leave yourself little latitude for deriding other folks.

    Rachel Corrie was indeed killed in Israel. by an Israeli, and she may even have been killed deliberately, but “Israel” did not decide to kill her.

    The public referendum on whether to take her life never happened and it likely wouldn’t have been approved.

    And no Israeli government has yet agreed on the desirability of simply killing all foreign protesters.

    1. Rachel Corrie was not killed IN Israel. She was killed in Gaza. And Israel certainly killed her by using armored tractors to demolish homes when they knew there were activists in the area protesting the demolitions. You can call it negligent homicide if you wish. But it’s still killing & Israel did it.

      Israel kills & maims foreign peace activists regularly. Do you want me to list the names?

      1. If you’re willing to publish the circumstances along with the names, yes, I do want you to publish a list.

        There’s a certain tension inherent in “peace activist” just as there are things to learn from detailing HOW people die rather than merely noting and regretting their deaths.

        Would you be willing to say that Palestine killed the Israeli student who died in the rocket attack against the school bus?

        1. Would you be willing to say that Palestine killed the Israeli student who died in the rocket attack against the school bus?

          No, of course not since Israel has placed Gaza under siege, plotted to destroy the PA gov’t which Hamas ran. Israel doesn’t want there to be a central governing authority in Gaza. So no, you can’t blame a gov’t for the terror attack unless Israel is willing to allow a gov’t to function there. But I’d like to see you encourage Israel to lift its siege & begin talks w. Hamas or at least tacitly recognize Hamas so it might actually be able to function fully as a governing authority there. Then yes, I’d be willing to hold whoever governs there accountable for such attacks.

          1. Richard, that you can’t blame Hamas for blowing up school busses while Gaza is blockaded is simply…….and utterly…..


            Please, how some respect for your own standards of conduct, if not for those of most of the world, and forego excusing the inexcusable.

            I’m all for negotiating with Hamas, and would even prefer that Hamas stop clinging to the commitment not to negotiate in any direct and open way, as a series of secret, indirect and “paperless” negotiations are not availing for other than a very limited and short-term deal.

          2. You’re once again either ignorant or a liar. Hamas has on multiple occasions offered to negotiate with Israel both directly & openly. It is Israel which refuses to talk to Hamas, not the other way around. Once again, you simply can’t write history your way simply because you wish it to be so when it’s not.

  12. Richard, you’re once again a rather lousy sort of a host to your guests. Should you wish to have respectful discourse, perhaps you can manage not call your company liars, even in a weasel-like disjunctive formulation.

    Perhaps instead you might put forth some of those Hamas direct discussions with Israel, or direct offers of direct discussions, or acknowledgements that Hamas has had direct discussions.

    I suspect that all you’re gonna have to offer are indirect statements formulated to fool gullible gits from the West, but please do offer something more substantive than your “oh, yeah, well you’re a iggorant liar”.

    1. I’ve written about that here numerous times. Do a GOogle search. If you think I have the time to go searching through my archives every time someone like you asks or demands that I prove a point I’ve made, you don’t realize how many other more important things I have to do. I wrote a post once about a Hamas representative interviewed IN HEBREW on ISRAELI TV who said precisely what I claimed. YOu don’t watch Israeli TV? And clearly don’t read my blog archives. So do us a favor, next time I say something & you don’t believe it, before you publish a comment do a search using keywords to try to find it here. I’ve written nearly 4,000 posts & supported pretty much everything I’m saying now with something I’ve already written. And if you don’t find it here, do a Google search of the internet & you’ll likely find it there. So do yrself a favor…

      And don’t tell me what you suspect you’ll hear from me till YOU do the work yrself to answer your own doubts or questions. My job is not to spoon feed you. You’ve got to do some of the work yrself.

  13. Don’t call people liars and then complain when they want you to back up your claims.

    Better yet, don’t call people liars unless you know them and know that they lie.

    I have read your comment rules.

    ” 1. insults, baiting, vulgarity, harassment or abuse directed toward the blog owner or other commenters are not tolerated.”

    didn’t see the part where it said….unless Richard is doing the insulting or abusing.

    1. When you make claims that are false then there are only two possibilities: either you are ignorant or you know that what you’re saying is false & you’re lying. You may be ignorant & not a liar. But if I were you I wouldn’t be proud of either.

      Not knowing that Hamas has made many offers of talks with Israel & claiming the precise opposite shows abysmal ignorance just as saying that Assad was the one who caused the failure of the 2000 peace negotiations (not sure if that was you or someone else) also shows massive ignorance.

      I’m willing to argue with you or anyone on substance. But it saves a lot of time when you have basic command of facts & we don’t have to go over what happened because you have a distorted notion of reality or history.

  14. Could be, Rich, old chum, that the ignorance (or lack of understanding) is yours and that the duplicity offered by Hamas is just the type of bs that you’re willing to swallow when the same type of lying crud would never get through your bs filter.

    (and no it must be someone else thinking Assad with the 2000 negotiations c\’cause it surely wasn’t myself).

    And I do not have any idea what it is that you think that your saving when you simply insist that your interpretations of things are indisputably factual and are not to be questioned.

    That you can’t or won’t even offer a link to something and resort to “I’m right or you’re….. something else” is damned sure nothing of which YOU should be proud.

    G’night Richard.

  15. Richard, I know that you’ve suggested patience but
    five days seems like an awful long time for my previous comment to remain in the moderation queue.

  16. and still it doesn’t move.

    my comment from April 25 @7:25PM remains in the queue.

    for some reason, I find that a little irritating. please move it forward or disappear it.

      1. I don’t really give a damn if you approve it or not, Richard. I thought that, because of the two links, it was something that you may not have seen.

        screw it. erase and erase the bitching and moaning if it makes you feel impo’tent.

        sometimes, Richard, it seems that other people’s bitching and moaning on your blog is only gonna cause an overload

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