Italian politician: Vittorio Arrigoni was ‘enemy of Jews’

Human rights watchdog organization: To refer to Hamas ally as a "peace activist" is a moral travesty.

April 26, 2011 03:13
3 minute read.
Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni

Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)


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BERLIN – Fiamma Nirenstein, vice president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Italy’s Chamber of Deputies and chairwoman of the Committee for the Inquiry into Anti-Semitism, has deemed the slain Hamas-aligned activist Vittorio Arrigoni a “fan of political Islamism because he was an enemy of the Jews.”

Arrigoni was kidnapped by Salafist radicals in April, and murdered by them in the Gaza Strip earlier this month.

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Writing in the Milan-based Italian daily Il Giornale, she added “[Arrigoni’s support of Islam] did not save him from a cruel execution...”

Nirenstein also took aim at Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano for attributing the murder of Arrigoni to the lack of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Instead of laying the blame on Islamic fundamentalism, he asked that ‘a negotiated solution be found to the conflict, which sees bloodshed in the region,’” she said. “Yet instead, Israel is being summoned to face some mysterious responsibility.”

According to Nirenstein, Arrigoni described Zionists as “rats.” A Facebook entry from Arrigoni apparently also refers to a Jewish critic of his as a “rat.”


Arrigoni’s death has electrified NGOs, the blogosphere and media regarding news reporting that they claim has glossed over Arrigoni’s militant anti- Israel views.

Arrigoni was a member of the International Solidarity Movement, an organization devoted “to resisting the Israeli apartheid in Palestine by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles,” according to its website.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, head of NGO Monitor, a human rights watchdog organization, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that “the ISM openly and directly supports ‘the Palestinian resistance,’ – meaning terrorism and war crimes against Israelis. To refer to its members, including Vittorio Arrigoni – who are allied with Hamas – as ‘peace activists’ is a marketing triumph, and moral travesty.

“The record speaks for itself: In 2002, ISM members attempted to help terrorists hiding in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and in 2003 the murderers of Israelis at Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, forged links with ISM activists. In 2010, the ISM played a major role in the deadly Gaza flotilla confrontation. Whatever Arrigoni’s motivations might have been, he was clearly not promoting peace.”

In an e-mail to the Post on Thursday, Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, a Washington-based organization, wrote, “Arrigoni devoted himself to helping Hamas try to destroy Israel. He was a warmonger, an anti-Semite and a supporter of the repression of Palestinians under terrorist rule in Gaza. The attempt by anti-Israel activists to portray him as a crusader for peace or human rights is nothing less than Orwellian.”

Amnesty International Ireland’s communication director, Justin Moran, criticized a popular US-based, pro-Israel blog, “Elder of Ziyon,” for pointing out ties between Arrigoni’s supporter and girlfriend, Claudia Milani – who works for Amnesty International – and her promotion of anti-Israel events.

According to the Elder of Ziyon blog, Milani is the “coordinator of Israel/Occupied Territories section of Amnesty International/Italy,” and as such, she gave a talk at an “Israel Apartheid Week” event advertised by Amnesty last month.

Her Facebook page shows that she is “friends” with noted Israel-haters, including Greta Berlin, Adam Shapiro, Max Ajl and Ken O’Keefe.

Moran, from Ireland’s Amnesty office, wrote an e-mail to a reader who complained about the Elder of Ziyon blog entry, saying “I think the site you link to is acting in a deplorable manner by using the tragic death of Mr. Arrigoni to personally target his girlfriend – a woman who is right now coping with the loss of a loved one in unbelievably tragic circumstances.”

Steven Plaut, a professor at the Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Haifa, culled anti-Israel photos from Arrigoni’s Facebook site for an article in the online US Magazine Frontpage.

Plaut wrote earlier this week, “Arrigoni’s Facebook page is also a cornucopia of blind hatred. It includes the medieval blood libel charge that ‘Zionists’ would arrest Jesus if he were to come back today... A photo that Arrigoni included – and thought was just delightful – is a sign in a store that announces that dogs and Israelis may not enter.”

When asked about Arrigoni’s comments about Jews and Israelis, multiple Post telephone calls and e-mails to Moran and the Amnesty office in Ireland were not immediately returned.

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