Did Rachel Corrie get college credit for joining the ISM?

August 29, 2012

Media_httpwwwevergree_yiwpj( Elder of Ziyon) There is an interesting detail in this 2003 article from a local Olympia, Washington newspaper that profiles a number of Evergreen College students who traveled to Rafah along with Rachel Corrie:

Rafah is one of the most dangerous places in the Gaza Strip–“a combat zone,” according to Captain Jacob Dallal, the Israeli army spokesperson.
…My Jewish ass has been to Israel several times, but never to Gaza, and I am a bit scared. I have been told not to use any of my Arabic, lest I be suspected of being an Israeli spy. Above all, I have been told not to mention my religion.
[Corrie’s] cohorts at ISM Rafah were an international group, with members from both Europe and the U.S. It was a young group–most people were under 30, and many were closer to 20. And it was a group that held the potential for romance–a Swedish ISMer named Stefan Villkatt would soon become Rachel’s boyfriend.
…In addition to Stefan, there was Chris Allert, 31, also from Olympia, who joined the ISM in April 2002 after hearing about the intense fighting in the West Bank town of Jenin.
…There was Will Hewitt, 25, another Evergreen student who arrived in Israel around the same time as Rachel.
..And then there was Joe Smith, 21–yet another Evergreen student who, with his thick beard and red-checked kaffiyeh, looks like a better-fed, Palestinian-territory version of John Walker Lindh. Joe is from Kansas City, Missouri, and says he (like other Evergreen students) is getting independent study credit for his time in Rafah.

At the time, the US State Department had a travel warning against Americans going to Gaza.
If true, Evergreen College was rewarding students to go to a war zone and put their lives in danger.
(h/t Daled Amos via email)

The Geoduck Fight Song

words and music by Malcolm Stilson, 1971

Go, Geoducks go,
Through the mud and the sand,
let’s go.
Siphon high, squirt it out,
swivel all about,
let it all hang out.
Go, Geoducks go,
Stretch your necks when the tide
is low
Siphon high, squirt it out,
swivel all about,
let it all hang out.


Corrie Verdict Won’t End Delegitimization by the ISM

August 29, 2012

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/12106#.UDzQGcFlS6V
  Now that the Judge Oded Gershon has ruled that the death of Rachel Corrie her own fault and an accident on the part of the IDF, if anyone thinks this affects the de-legitimization efforts of the IDF to protect the people of Israel or for the nation to protect itself from terrorists, they had better think again.
Judge Gershon, by allowing this publicity farce to be held at all, has unwittingly put Israel in a no-win situation by falling into the ISM’s publicity trap.

Had Judge Gershon thrown the case out of court and saved the Israeli taxpayer wasted time and money for a publicity stunt by the ISM, the Rachel Corrie circus might have finally ended. Now that the case is over, even though the IDF was exonerated and her death found to have been unintentional and an accident, the Rachel Corrie media hounds in the ISM, including her two parents who are making a career off her death rather than discouraging other parents from letting their children to go off to be cannon fodder for terrorist groups in the ISM, can continue their well-paid careers as champions for Hamas.
What Judge Gershon failed to grasp, in allowing the trial to go forth in the first place, is that the ISM will now claim the verdict a sham and try to indict Israel in the Hague for “war crimes”. The same charge in the Hague would have been brought had the IDF been found guilty, as the ISM would then insist on a tribunal to try Israel for war crimes anyway.
In order for matters such as the Corrie case to be presented to the Hague, it is required that the use of the courts in the country accused of such crimes be exhausted first. Now that the trial is over, the ISM groups that generated this farce will approach the Hague, claiming the Israeli court was biased and requesting a trial on war crimes charges.
Hence, Judge Gershon, by permitting this trial, instead of ending the matter, has only led Israel down the primrose path to being accused of war crimes by a kangaroo court of international judges, some of whom are from the most oppressive totalitarian regimes in the world. This is the same kangaroo court that found illegal the Security Fence that was set up to stop suicide bombers from entering Israel to murder Israelis.
Let me tell you about Rachel Corrie: When I visited Israel in 2010 when this trial first began, I brought with me a tape-recorded phone interview I had with ISM activist Joseph Carr, who allegedly was with Corrie when she was killed.
Carr actually used photoshop to create phony photos of Corrie standing in front of a bulldozer that were picked up by the wire services and later retracted. Carr was not called as a witness by the Rachel Corrie Foundation because this canard would have been shown in court.
 
In that phone interview, Carr described to me how he and Rachel Corrie, not long before her death, had actually walked out into a combat zone to retrieve the dead body of a Hamas terrorist in front of IDF soldiers, because Hamas terrorists had asked them to do so.
Carr described to me in the interview – that I furnished the IDF’s defense lawyers – how he and Corrie would advance bit by bit into the no man’s land, yelling that they were peace activists and unarmed, until they reached the body and picked it up.
I asked Carr if he was afraid at the time of being arrested by the IDF for doing such a thing and he replied, “No. Because we knew the Arab snipers would shoot them if they did.”
It’s all on the tape the government has. What it tells anyone with common sense is that Rachel Corrie knew that she was there to draw fire on IDF soldiers if they ever sought to move her. The IDF video of her being struck by the D9 bulldozer also shows she was not protecting a house, and that the ISM “witnesses” who claimed they were running alongside the bulldozer screaming for it to stop (including Carr who claimed this), were not there.
Rachel Corrie’s mother is a case in point. She appeared on radio in Santa Cruz, California, where she admitted Rachel had told her she had also retrieved the dead body of a terrorist from a weapons smuggling tunnel at one point. “I knew she was really doing something dangerous when she told me that”, she admitted in the interview.
Her daughter had written her about “the martyrs” who died fighting the Israelis and how they lacked the sophisticated weaponry of the IDF.
Did Cindy Corrie tell her daughter to come home and stop being a human shield for terrorists? No, absolutely not. Did she tour the US telling other parents not to send their sons and daughters to Gaza where they would be used by terrorists as human shields? No, she did not.
Later, when Cindy and Craig Corrie were kidnapped for ransom in Gaza by Palestinian terrorists at gunpoint, then released when her kidnappers realized their value for propaganda against the Jews, the elder Corries didn’t bat an eyelash and continued their new career as propagandists for the Palestinian terror groups, particularly Hamas.
Some moron in the US State Department made a statement that the Israeli court’s investigation of Rachel Corrie’s death was inadequate. The US State Department is also to blame for allowing ISM activists to get new passports with no problem when they are deported by the Israeli government so they can continually return to Israel and foment riots in Judea and Samaria.
A real investigation needs to be done to determine what the US State Department’s relationship with the ISM is, and its work as human shields for Arab terrorists. If the US State Department can arm and train a Palestinian army and then have the trainer, General Keith Dayton, say with a straight face the army may attack the IDF in two years if the Palestinians aren’t given a state, how difficult a stretch is it to ask what the State Department has had to do with ISM activities since the gang’s inception in 2002?
ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf were both low level State Department employees working in Jerusalem when the ISM was first created. In the US Congress, Representative Peter King’s commission on Homeland Security needs to investigate this issue. After this creation, the ISM created a network of movements on US campuses worthy of a Rico Statute investigation.
The death of a stupid (yes, that’s the appropriate word) 23 year-old girl, who thought of herself as an anarchist and revolutionary and planted herself in front of a bulldozer in a combat zone because she figured the IDF soldiers inside the tractor would not emerge to move her for fear of being shot by Arab snipers, got an unexpected shock when the tractor, whose driver couldn’t see her, accidentally ran over her.
For the Arabs her death was a propaganda bonanza that ultimately opened up the Rafah and Philadelphi Corridor to aid the Hamas regime in Gaza. Now the Hague will only put more pressure on Israel as the nation is falsely accused of war crimes because of this girl and her opportunistic parents, who will gladly make hay joining the bandwagon of de-legitimizers of Israel.
Anything for the ISM to keep the war roiling until – they hope – the end of the Jewish state.
Rachel Corrie just needs to go away, but watch as this next becomes a case accusing Israel of war crimes.
Meanwhile, maybe Israel is growing up, because almost on the same day this verdict came out, 109 ISM activists, more Rachel Corries, were finally turned away at the Allenby Bridge by an Israeli government that has been a fall guy to the ISM and their terrorist sponsors for the last 11 years.
But don’t expect the Rachel Corrie clown show to end with this investigation. Plan on Israel’s lawyers and foreign ministry to be tied up in the Hague for the next few years, while the threat from Iran looms ever closer.


Why might Israel deport two young American women who landed at Ben Gurion Airport?

June 3, 2012

Involvement with ISM and SJP should be a reason to deport someone from any Western nation… let alone Israel. Funny the way Reuters is shouting about this as if they just rejected peace protesters. ISM was who organized the Peace flotilla who were such pacifist that they cut a Jews ear off when he landed on the ship to insure no weapons went to Hamas. Israel will bar anyone affiliated or assisting a ‘Palestinian’ terror groups. Lebanon, Syria and a whole bunch of other Arab countries will bar anyone with an Israeli stamp on their passport.

(Carl) The virulently anti-Israel Mondoweiss blog publishes an account from two young Arab women who were denied entry into Israel. There’s a lot missing.
The account was written by Najwa Doughman and Sasha Al-Sarabi, two University of Virginia graduates from the New York City area, who are American citizens of Arab (I assume ‘Palestinian,’ although they don’t say that) extraction. The account is about as unbiased as they get.

“Do you feel more Arab or more American?” she asked. I had answered the ten previous questions very calmly, but with this question I looked back at the security official confused and irritated. She couldn’t have been much older than me—her business attire and stern facial expressions did not mask her youth.
“I don’t know, I feel both. Why? Does this affect my ability to get in?”
She ignored my question. “Surely you must feel a little more Arab, you’ve lived in many Middle Eastern countries.”
I did not see the correlation. I have never felt the need to choose. “Yes I have but I also lived in the US for the past seven years, and was born there, so I feel both.” My response did nothing to convince her.
“Hm. Will you go to Al-Aqsa?”
“Yeah, maybe.”
“Will you go to Jewish sites as well?”
“Yes, why not? We want to see everything.”
“But you have been here two times already. Why are you coming now for the third time? You can go to Venezuela, to Mexico, to Canada. It is much closer to New York, and much less expensive!”
I realized the conversation was going nowhere. “Right, but I wanted to come back here again. Don’t you have tourists who come back more than once?”
“I’m asking the questions here,” she replied disgruntled.
“Okay, we are going to do something very interesting now!” Her face transformed from a harsh stare to a slight smirk. She proceeded to type “www.gmail.com” on her computer and then turned the keyboard toward me. “Log in,” she demanded.
“What? Really?” I was shocked.
“Log in.”
I typed in my username and password in complete disbelief. She began her invasive search: “Israel,” “Palestine,” “West Bank,” “International Solidarity Movement.”

She sifted through my inbox, reading every single email with those keywords. She read sentences out loud to her colleague, sarcastically reenacting and mocking old Google Chat conversations between Sasha and me about our future trip to Jerusalem. I squirmed in my seat.
The Israeli authorities have a notorious reputation for denying entry to Palestinians of all citizenships, and I had received all sorts of advice, solicited and unsolicited, on how to cope with the problem. The security officer opened an email from a friend living in Jerusalem who had advised me to remove myself from internet searches. “They are heavy on googling names at the airport recently,” he had written. “See if you can remove yourselves, not crucial but helpful.”
The security guard found this especially hilarious. With a laugh, she called her blonde colleague over and reread the sentence mockingly. “You can tell your friend, not only do we google you, we read your emails, too!”

Read the whole thing. Read the comments too – they’re downright hostile to Israel. Look at the pictures of Najwa and Sasha. They look like they’d be stoned in Tehran or Gaza City. Perhaps they could take some fashion lessons from Catherine Ashton.
So why did Israel deny these two young New York professionals entry into the country? Here’s what they’re not telling you:
First, they don’t discuss what those gmail searches produced but I’d bet there were a whole bunch of hits from the “International Solidarity Movement” search. I don’t have to tell you all who the ISM is.
Second, a look at Najwa and Sasha‘s linked-in pages produces some interesting information (Thanks to Stephen L for the inspiration). Najwa worked for UNRWA in Tripoli, Libya from January 2010 through January 2011. I assume that was with a different passport than the one used in her two previous trips to Israel. You can’t enter Lebanon with an Israeli stamp in your passport. At the University of Virginia, Najwa was also the President of ‘Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine‘ (sometimes known as ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’).
‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ has an ‘impressive’ record.

The SJP fomented new radicalism about the Palestinian-Israel conflict and gave a new energy and visibility to Palestinian propaganda. Even the progressive Forward quoted activists who claimed that the SJP moved “far beyond legitimate criticism of the Israeli government and its policies into complete delegitimization of the Jewish state.”[3]
The SJP equates Israel’s treatment of Palestinians with apartheid South Africa and calls for divestment from Israel and an end to the ‘occupation.’ It organizes demonstrations and political theater to dramatize the plight of the Palestinians whom it sees only as innocent victims. SJP chapters have set up mock checkpoints, mock “concentration camps” with barbed wire to demonstrate how Palestinians suffer, mock “apartheid walls” and even fake re-enactments of IDF soldiers beating up pregnant Palestinian women.[4] Some chapters even organize Deir Yassin remembrance day to mark what Palestinians have claimed was a massacre of Palestinians in 1948. In 2002, the Berkeley SJP staged this event on Holocaust Remembrance Day and directly competed with the commemoration Jewish students had organized.[5]
SJP also agitates to prevent pro-Israel speakers from visiting their campuses. The De Paul University SJP captured media attention in April 2005 because it protested against a pro-Israel professor who had argued with SJP members at their campus table. The University deferred to SJP and fired the professor, Thomas Klocek. He has brought a legal suit against the school.[6]
SJP chapters are only loosely affiliated with one another, and some are more radical than others, but as a whole, the group will not even condemn terrorism.

Obviously, there’s enough there to make Najwa an undesirable from Israel’s perspective.
There’s not quite as much out there on Sasha, but she does list ‘Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine’ among her UVa activities, and the fact that she was traveling with Najwa undoubtedly opened some eyes.
I want to go back to the very biased account for a minute. Here’s how they describe their call from the American embassy.

At 6:15, a guard came and told us that the US embassy was phoning for us. My parents had called them from Virginia after our two-minute conversation to inform them of what was happening. Sasha answered the phone. “Oh, thank God, we’ve been trying to get in touch with you! This is Sasha. We’ve been through a lot the past few hours.”
“As I told your friend’s parents yesterday, there is really nothing we can do. I’m just glad that you’re going to be able to get on the next flight.” the woman said dispassionately.
“This is ridiculous. They went through my friend’s email. Is that legal?”
“Well, they can do whatever they want. There is nothing we can do. They are their own country, and they make their own rules.”
“If only you could see the conditions we are in. I just wish you could come and smell the room.”
“Oh, I’m really sorry, but at least you’ll be getting on the next flight,” her voice was annoyingly monotonous.

That’s the bottom line. Every country – including Israel – has the right to control who enters. If you want to come here, you have to play by our rules. And if the authorities suspect you’re here to help a radical terror group, you won’t be allowed in. Just like the US has its ‘no fly’ lists and insists on having name, rank and serial number on every arrival in advance, Israel will bar anyone it believes is affiliated or assisting a ‘Palestinian’ or Islamist terror group. And Lebanon, Syria and a whole bunch of other Arab countries will bar anyone with an Israeli stamp on their passport. Deal with it and stop whining.


The Olive Tree Initiative (OTI): George Rishmawi and the Siraj Center Raise Concerns

July 19, 2011

He said that Peace Now claimed that 83% of settlements are on confiscated Palestinian land when in fact they had claimed the number was 40% and much of their data had proved to be based on incomplete records and was incorrect.
…and the Jewish Federation of Orange County is involved with these haters.

George Rishmawi may no longer be formally with ISM, but his perspective and approach are not likely to improve the understanding of Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) students, help them develop conflict resolution skills, or help pave the way to conciliation and peace either on the UCI campus or in the Middle East. That Rishmawi and his group are so integral to OTI’s programming casts doubt on the value of OTI itself. Speaking at UC Irvine on Nov. 22, 2010, Rishmawi said he broke with ISM several years ago over personal differences with co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf, but his current goals are quite similar to those of ISM when it was originally founded: bring young “internationals” to the West Bank on tours and to live with selected Palestinian families, encourage them to become “ambassadors” who will repeat the narrative Rishmawi orchestrates, and inspire them to participate in “non-violent” actions like protesting the security fence in Bil’in. more via Roberta P. Seid, PhD 

George Rishmawi co-founded the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) along with Adam Shapiro, Huwaida Arraf, and Ghassan Andoni. Led by Palestinians working closely with American recruiters, the ISM invites individuals from the West to come to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and disrupt the counter-terrorism efforts of the Israeli Defense Force. Rishmawi directs the activities of ISM volunteers on the ground.

Rishmawi is also a director of Alternative Tourism, a group that was formed in 1995 to act as a propaganda organ for Palestinian terrorist elements that have no interest in peace – portraying Palestinians as victims of unyielding Israeli oppression and brutality. Alternative Tourism was established to greet and aid ISM volunteers who come to Israel. In April 2003, two Pakistani Muslims from Great Britain entered Israel through Jordan as clients of Alternative Tourism; they met with ISM leaders for an entire day in Gaza before proceeding on to Tel Aviv, where they bombed a popular beach bar, Mike’s Place, killing three people.  image via a non reputable source: Bob May


The flotilla and the Third Intifada

July 15, 2011

the true aim was actually spelled out by Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement and a board member of the Free Gaza Movement (which is behind the flotilla), at a meeting last November at Rutgers university in New Jersey to raise money to fund an American flotilla boat.
This is what Shapiro said:

What we’ve been doing over the last ten years with the International Solidarity Movement,  Free Gaza, and all the other outgrowth organisations and movements and groups is to …work with Palestinian society to ramp up the resistance. This is all part of a Palestinian movement for Palestine…This is truly an international movement … It’s only Palestine, this cause that has been going on for over 60 years, that generates this kind of activism, this kind of resistance…
Free Gaza is but one tactic of a larger strategy, to transform this conflict from one between Israel and the Palestinians, or Israel and the Arab world…to one between the rest of the world and Israel[applause]
It’s not just the conflict, it’s not just the siege, it’s not just the home demolitions, it’s not just the wall on the West Bank, it’s not just the effort to continue to dispossess Palestinians of their land…it’s also the attempt to define a place where 20 per cent of the population is Palestinian, to define the land underneath their feet as Jewish, to further dispossess them and subject these people to permanent second third or fourth class citizenship…Free Gaza is a tactic…all of it is part of a strategy now to transform the conflict and internationalise it and really undermine Israel where it gets its most support…
Our ground is the whole world. And that’s where our resistance has to be. The whole world… We already have a third intifada. It’s going on right now. It’s going on all over the world. [my emphasis]

So from the horse’s mouth we learn that the prime aim of the flotilla is not to provide humanitarian supplies to Gaza. It is not even to protest Israel’s ‘siege’ of Gaza. It is instead a tactic in a campaign to undermine Israel itself on account of its 60-plus year existence as a Jewish state. In other words, the flotilla is part of a strategy designed to destroy Israel altogether.

…and so if this were really the case then all those legalities are not just a stunt. If their intent is malicious and not about aiding then we can expect the legal backlash against the flotilla to continue. more via Melanie Phillips

not the first ISM activist to be murdered by his fellow Palestinian Arabs.

April 18, 2011

In September 2007, ISM member Akram Ibrahim Abu Sba’ was killed by members of Islamic Jihad. He was shot twice in the chest in Jenin.

His killing was never condemned by the ISM. They know better than to say anything bad about Islamic Jihad, their erstwhile partners in “resistance” against Israel.

Peace activist: Vittorio Arrigoni - bloodied and bound - in a screengrab from the Jihadist's YouTube video


Hostage in Gaza had no sympathy for Shalit: Another Terror Organization (YATO) in Gaza, this one called called “Monotheism and Holy War,” has kidnapped an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist, an Italian named Vittorio Arrigoni. Arrigoni is a passionate hater of Israel, who even criticized a French official for expressing solidarity with Gilad Shalit.

Palestinians and foreign activists hold banners as they take part in a protest against the killing of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, in the West Bank of Ramallah April 15, 2011. Hamas found the body on Friday of the pro-Palestinian Italian activist who was killed by al Qaeda sympathisers in the Gaza Strip, raising questions about the Islamist group's control over the beleaguered enclave.

Palestinians and foreign activists hold banners as they take part in a protest against the killing of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, in the West Bank of Ramallah April 15, 2011. Hamas found the body on Friday of the pro-Palestinian Italian activist who was killed by al Qaeda sympathisers in the Gaza Strip, raising questions about the Islamist group’s control over the beleaguered enclave.

On April 5, thousands of Palestinians turned out to a Hamas rally to honor the Italian militant.  And now he’s dead—a “barbaric murder” and a “vile and irrational gesture of violence on the part of extremists indifferent to the value of a human life,” said the Italian Foreign Ministry. Killed by an al-Qaeda-inspired Salafi group that sees Hamas as too tame and too slow. via sonofhamas.wordpress.com ….Here’s a Google translation of Arrigoni’s comments in his blog on January 21, 2011:

Michele Alliot-Marie, French Foreign Minister, yesterday in Israel during a press conference expressed [her] solidarity with the soldier Gilad Shalit, the only Israeli prisoner in the hands of the Palestinians.


Despite the French minister knows very well that Shalit was taken prisoner during an Israeli attack on Gaza border [false — Hamas operatives tunneled under the border and attacked an Israeli base — ed] (and thus is a prisoner of war), it seems yesterday alongside the parents of the soldier spoke of a “war crime” is attributable Palestinians
in the Gaza Strip. Silence on the obvious and real daily Israeli crimes in Gaza.



By virtue of [her] statements and those of [her] silence before the drama of occupied Palestine today via the Erez crossing and entering the Strip, Michele Alliot-Marie has found a well-deserved reception from relatives of the thousands of Palestinian political prisoners (many women and children) detained illegally and tortured every day in Israeli jails.

The kidnappers are apparently demanding that Hamas release the leader of their group, or they will kill the Italian. One wonders why they didn’t kidnap a Hamas member. Maybe they feel that Arrigoni is such a big asset to Hamas that he’s worth more than some flunky. Or maybe they’re expecting ransom from the Italian government.
Elder of Ziyon also noticed that some ‘activists’ are already blaming Israel.
Every time you think that Palestinian Arabs can’t be more violent, cruel, or just crazy, something happens to show you that you were wrong.
Did you ever meet a crazy person or group, and realize that you should stay as far away from them as possible? That if you didn’t, their craziness would become part of your life, too? This is what has happened with the Palestinian Arabs — and their supporters. The rest of the world has let them into its life, and boy, are they sorry.
Update [2028 PDT]: It’s being reliably reported that Arrigoni has been found, dead. I guess they didn’t want to wait for the ransom.

Murdered: Mr Arrigoni's body was found abandoned in a corridor

A peace activist has been found hanged in an abandoned house in the Gaza Strip just hours after he was paraded on YouTube by his abductors.
Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, was blindfolded and had been badly beaten before the broadcast. A hand was seen pulling his head up by his hair to face the camera.
The video, posted just hours after the pacifist was kidnapped, sparked a frantic race against time to track him down before he was killed.
But though Hamas security forces quickly
received a tip-off about his whereabouts in Gaza’s Sheikh Rudawan
district, they arrived too late to save him.

PIECE activist: Vittorio Arrigoni – bloodied and bound – in a screengrab from the Jihadist’s YouTube video
Abandoned: Hamas officials guard the house in the Al Karama area of Gaza City where Mr Arrigoni's body was found

Abandoned: Hamas officials guard the house in the Al Karama area of Gaza City where Mr Arrigoni’s body was found

Mr Arrigoni, an Italian, was found lying in a corridor in the deserted house. He was dressed in black, in the same clothes he had been wearing in the video.
‘It was hard to see him unless
someone told you he was there because he was laid against the wall on
the floor,’ a witness who had been at the scene said.
‘There was no sign he was shot. It is believed he was either hanged then laid down, or strangled on the ground.’

Murdered: Mr Arrigoni’s body was found abandoned in a corridor

Mr Arrigoni had lived in Gaza since August 2008 after arriving on a boat bringing humanitarian supplies.
He
was abducted by an Al Qaeda-linked Jihadist group, who were attempting
to put pressure on Hamas, which runs the enclave, to release its leader
Hesham al-Sa’eedni.
In
the Arabic text that accompanied the YouTube video, his kidnappers
described Italy as ‘the infidel state’ and said that Mr Arrigoni had
‘entered our land only to spread corruption.’
Even
though they demanded the release of their al-Sa’eedni, the group – who
call themselves Monotheism and Holy War – gave Hamas no time to hand him
over.
Instead,
they executed their hostage, who helped Gaza fishermen deal with
Israel’s tight maritime blockade, and left his body for the security
forces to find. 
Two men have been arrested and others are being sought.
The
scene of the killing in Gaza’s Sheikh Rudawan neighbourhood was very
tense. The house where the hostage was killed was still cordoned off as
investigations continued. cordoned off the house.
Mt Arrigoni’s abduction and killing has shocked the stricken region, inured as it is
to clashes between Hamas fighters and Israeli forces.
‘I
was about to cry when I heard the news. That man quit his family for
us, for Gaza, and now Gazans killed him. That was so bad,’ said
supermarket owner Abu Ahmed.
Samira Ali, a teacher, said: ‘Those who killed him are not Muslims and certainly not Palestinians.’
Silvia Todeschini, a friend and fellow member of the International Solidarity Movement, worked with Arrigoni in Gaza.
‘Victor (Vittorio) worked with the Palestinians, he worked for the Palestinians,’ she said.
‘He
worked with fishermen, he accompanied fishermen when they were going to
fish, in non-violent interpositions on the maritime limit imposed by
the Israeli navy.

Kill me too: Palestinians and foreign activists carry banners through Ramallah after they heard of Arrigoni's murder

Kill me too: Palestinians and foreign activists carry banners through Ramallah after they heard of Arrigoni’s murder
Anger: A protester holds a banner condemning the killing of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza

Anger: A protester holds a banner condemning the killing of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza

Popular: Palestinians carry a symbolic coffin decorated with the Italian flag during a ceremony to mourn and denounce the kidnapping and killing Mr Arrigoni

Popular: Palestinians carry a symbolic coffin decorated with the Italian flag during a ceremony to mourn and denounce the kidnapping and killing Mr Arrigoni

‘He used to work with farmers when
they used to go to cultivate their lands near the buffer zone with
Israel, the scene of many shooting incidents over the past four years.’
Todeschini said activist friends did not believe it when they were told police had found the body of Arrigoni.

WELL KNOWN AND WELL LIKED, THE ACTIVIST WITH A PIPE AND A BERET

Arrigoni

A peace activist, blogger and occasional freelance journalist, Arrigoni was a well-known figure in Gaza – and well-liked.
He was frequently seen clenching a pipe between his teeth and wearing a beret in a likeness to Che Guevara, as well as bracelets in the red, black, green and white colors of the Palestinian flag.
Arrigoni was an outspoken critic of Israel, but in an interview in 2008 he also also criticised Muslim extremists for trying to impose a hardline version of Islam in Gaza.
He noted the increase in the number of Gazan women wearing Islamic face veils and the fact that young women were barred from participating in public life.
Arrigoni had come to Gaza as a pro-Palestinian activist and worked with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which operates in the West Bank and Gaza
In 2003, an American ISM activist, Rachel Corrie, was crushed by an Israeli military bulldozer in a combat zone in southern Gaza while trying to block its path.

A British activist with the group was fatally shot by an Israeli soldier in the same area that year. A third ISM activist, a Palestinian, was shot and killed by Palestinian militants in the West Bank town of Jenin in 2007.

‘At the beginning we did not believe it, we thought it was just a joke. But then we saw the video and we believed it.’
‘We really know that most of the
Palestinians are not murderers and that they understand that we are here
working for them,’ she said.
Arrigoni was the first foreign
national to be abducted in Gaza since BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who
was held for 114 days by an al Qaeda-inspired group named the Army of
Islam. He was released in 2007.
Ehab
Al-Ghssain, spokesman for the Hamas Interior Ministry, told a news
conference the arrest and questioning of one of the group had led to the
discovery of where Arrigoni was being held.
He
said: ‘The forces moved quickly and wisely to the place but found that
the abducted man was killed hours earlier in an ugly manner, according
to the pathologists.’
Ghssain
claimed the abductors recently had rented the house where the body was
found and had used someone else’s car to try to conceal their
identities.
He added:
‘Their intention from the very beginning was to kill their victim,
because the crime took place after a short period of his abduction,’ he
said.
Ghssain said the killing could
jeopardise more solidarity missions such as flotillas that have tried to
run the Israeli naval blockade on Gaza.
International activists plan to sail as many as 15 ships there late next month.
Ghassin
said those responsible for Arrigoni’s death had served Israel’s
intentions by ‘trying to terrorise the people who support the
Palestinian people in Gaza.’
In
Rome, the Italian Foreign Ministry condemned what it called a ‘barbaric
murder’ and a ‘vile and irrational gesture of violence on the part of
extremists indifferent to the value of a human life.’
Journalists
were not allowed to see the body in the morgue and could not
independently confirm the cause of death given by Hamas. An Italian
doctor was on his way from Israel to examine the body, officials said.
Hamas
vehemently opposes Salafists who espouse a more extreme form of Islam
and appear to be attracting recruits – including members of Hamas.
Though
it shares al Qaeda’s enmity toward the Jewish state, Hamas has provoked
Salafist anger by forging truces with the Israelis and considering
political deals with secular Palestinian parties.
The
Salafists, who see Hamas as insufficiently zealous in enforcing Islamic
law, have also attacked Internet cafes and want Christians expelled
from Palestine.
Palestinian
and Israeli analysts believe some Gaza-based Salafists are foreigners
who slipped in through the neighbouring Egyptian Sinai.
HAMAS, ITS RIVALS AND THE INSTABILITY OF GAZA
There are half a dozen radical Islamist groups in Gaza with membership numbering in the hundreds. The differences between them are unclear.
Some analysts believe they work in cells to evade Hamas pressure. All want to end Western influence and establish an Islamic state across the Middle East.
Hamas wants a Palestinian state, albeit an Islamic one. It has largely refrained from imposing Islamic law since taking control of Gaza in 2007 and has also condemned al Qaeda attacks in Western cities.

Shock: Friends of Mr Arrigoni's at the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) office in Gaza City were also deeply distressed by his death

Shock: Friends of Mr Arrigoni’s at the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) office in Gaza City were also deeply distressed by his death
Distraught: Friends of Mr Arrigoni mourn at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city after hearing of his death

Distraught: Friends of Mr Arrigoni
mourn at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city after hearing of his death

Hamas, with some 25,000 men under arms, has said its more radical rivals are simply misguided offered them ‘re-education’.
Palestinian analyst Hani Masri said it was premature to say Hamas has lost control of Gaza.
‘Such incidents can happen anywhere,’ he said. But this would have an impact on Hamas.
‘If Hamas is trying to show an image of moderation and could not get something in return from the international community, this will leave a vacuum for more radical groups, even within Hamas itself,’ Masri said.
George Giacaman, political analyst at Birzeit University in the West Bank, saw Arrigoni’s murder as ‘a tremendous challenge for the authority of Hamas … a huge embarrassment for them’.
The movement, armed by Iran and shunned as a terrorist organisation by the West, is trying ‘to make their authority in Gaza acceptable for the Arabs and foreign countries’, he said.
It had succeeded to a certain extent in stopping the firing of rockets and mortars into Israel over the past two years, and it would now be most intent on restoring control with rigour.
But there were risks attached to that course, he said.
Hamas forces in August 2009 killed 28 people, mostly Salafis, in the storming of a mosque where a radical cleric who supported al Qaeda surrounded himself with armed men and declared an Islamic emirate.
‘They cannot do that every day,’ Giacaman said.


Dutch government indirectly funding Electronic Intifadah

November 26, 2010

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal is investigating charges made by NGO Monitor that an aid organization supported by the Dutch government funds The Electronic Intifada, a virulently anti-Semitic website run by Ali Abunimah, a close confidant of Barack Obama.

The Dutch government has been funding the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation, a Dutch aid organization that finances the Electronic Intifada website that, NGO Monitor told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, is anti-Semitic and frequently compares Israeli policies with those of the Nazi regime.
NGO Monitor’s exposure of Dutch government funding for the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO) prompted Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal to say on Thursday, “I will look into the matter personally. If it appears that the government subsidized NGO ICCO does fund Electronic Intifada, it will have a serious problem with me.”
That government funding amounted to €124 million in 2008. The European Commission also funds ICCO.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, said, “This type of poisonous activity is precisely why European government funding of NGOs requires close oversight and full transparency.”
“Based on our experience, we assume that the top Dutch government officials are completely unaware of the link between money given to ICCO for aid, and Electronic Intifada, a group whose rhetoric and activities undermine hopes for mutual understanding.”

Of course, the European Commission isn’t going to look into why they’re funding The Electronic Intifada. For the most part, it reflects the European elite’s point of view. And some people are still arguing over whether comparing Israel to Nazis is sufficient to make EI anti-Semitic.

NGO Monitor told the Post that “EI executive director Ali Abunimah is a leader in delegitimization and demonization campaigns against Israel. In his travels and speaking engagements, facilitated by Electronic Intifada’s budget, he calls for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and routinely uses false apartheid rhetoric.”
“Abunimah also equates Israel to Nazi Germany, comparing the Israeli press to Der Stürmer, referring to Gaza as a ‘ghetto for surplus non-Jews,’ and claiming that ‘Zionism is not atonement for the Holocaust, but its continuation in spirit.’” NGO Monitor criticized ICCO’s employment of Mieke Zagt, who is “the ICCO official directing the funding to EI,” a “former employee of Amnesty International’s Middle East division, and a vocal proponent of BDS herself.” BDS is the abbreviation for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.
Marinus Verweij, who became chairman of ICCO’s executive board earlier this month, wrote the Post on Thursday, “Electronic Intifada was launched in February 2001. It publishes news, commentary, analysis and reference materials about the Israeli-Palestinian situation… It has become an important source of information from the occupied Palestinian territories. Newspapers such as The Washington Post and the Financial Times have frequently used material from the Electronic Intifada.”
He continued, “The rights of Palestinian people to a decent way of living are central in the news brought by the EI. The EI reports frequently about the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the State of Israel. In no way is the EI anti-Israel or anti-Semitic.”

Under Dutch law, promoting anti-Semitism is a crime. Read the whole thing.
And for those wondering how I dragged President Hussein Obama into this, let’s go back to 2008 when no one paid attention.

However, without losing a beat, an article has appeared on the ISM affiliated website Electronic Intifada (EI) by one of its co-founders, Ali Abunimah, in which Abumimah recounts his close past working relationship with Obama prior to the presidential campaign and how Abunimah believes Obama is merely giving lip service to the Jewish community to get elected, and that once in office he will work for the Palestinian cause. Abunimah lists himself and is mentioned in subsequent Obama articles in the mainstream press merely as a “Palestinian activist.” Abunimah insists that Obama will “come around” once elected.
But Ali Abunimah is more than just some “Palestinian activist” based in Chicago, the same location as Reverend Wright and the Trinity United Church of Christ. He is, in fact, one of the founders of the fiercely anti-Semitic ISM Arab group Al Awda, the Palestine Right of Return Coalition. Abunimah is a high level international leader of the ISM for the Arabs who travels extensively between Chicago, Europe and Ramallah.
Al Awda in Arabic means “The Return,” and the group not only calls for the complete destruction of Israel, even denying Israel’s current existence on its website and urging boycotts against not only Israelis, but American Jews and their businesses, but also calls for specifically supporting Arab terrorists in Iraq who kill US soldiers. Among its more than 130 chapters across the US and Canada, Al Awda’s New Jersey chapter is led by a young woman named Charlotte Kates who has called Israeli children killed by suicide bombers “fair game.” The ISM’s Al Awda openly supports terrorism as “legitimate resistance” in ISM revolutionary lingo.
Al Awda’s anti-Semitism has also linked to neo-Nazi groups in promoting the boycott and divestment from Israel on American campuses and in the US business community. It became so virulent that the group was booted by the UC Riverside campus administration from holding an international conference on that campus last year. Ali Abunimah, even today, is featured on the Al Awda website supporting terrorism against Israelis because he considers that “nonviolence is overrated.” In short, Obama saw no problem being lobbied in the past by someone who openly promotes terrorism and discrimination against Jewish-Americans.

But Obama’s association with the ISM through his church and lobbying in Chicago goes even deeper than just his past links to Al Awda and Ali Abunimah. His pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and the Trinity Union Church of Christ in Chicago, are both equally involved with the ISM.
Since 2001, the ISM has been tasked by the PLO and other Arab irredentist groups with getting new generations of American college kids to consider democratic Israel as somehow a violator of human rights, all the while as the Palestinian Arabs who practice open anti-Semitism, honor killings, and the murders of their own people as well as Jews, as commendable practices. At their 2003 national organizing conference at Ohio State, ISM activists set out to deconstruct American narratives about Israel as a democratic state with firm support from secular radical Americans of Jewish ancestry. In one workshop set up to discuss ways to put a good face on suicide bombings, ISM activists spoke of new ways of reinterpreting the Bible so Israel did not belong to the Jews, but to the Palestinians.
In working with the Saudi funded Muslim Students Association in campuses across the US, the ISM has managed to cloud the image among American youth through disinformation and propaganda campaigns against Jews and Israel in order to try and make American students believe Israel is an apartheid state like South Africa was in the 1980s. At the same time, these same Palestinian groups like Al Awda insist the West Bank and Gaza must be Jew-free. Since this campaign has been largely successful in organizing anti-Israel attitudes on campuses all over America, and since Jewish organizations in America have been slow to react, the ISM moved on to another program to do the same thing only this time alienating US churches, particularly evangelical churches that have a long-term sense of Biblical support for the Jewish state. Thus was born the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theological Society created as part of the ISM to do in US churches what various ISM groups succeeded to do in American colleges.
At the same time, a foothold already existed to a small degree in the American black religious community such as is led by Louis Farrakhan.

Read the whole thing. If only more people had read it in April 2008….