The Center for Political and Development Studies held a circle discussion April 28 in Gaza on the murder of International Solidarity Movement (ISM) Italian activist Vittorio Arigoni. The discussion began with a show along with the well-known national song “Anadikom” that Vik used to sing, shedding light on Arigoni’s solidarity with the Palestinian people that started 10 years ago and intensified in 2008 as he arrived to Gaza on the first vessel since 1967.
Dr. Mahmoud Alhirthani, the CPDS chairman, thanked the participants and gave them the chance to talk.
Silvia, an Italian activist, stressed that Vittorio has worked during the last 10 years for Palestinians and he was famous and well known all over Gaza. “His murder will not stop the International Solidarity Movement, and thousands of Italian activists are going to send a convoy to Gaza soon,” she said.
Dr. Asaad Abu Sharekh, a lecturer at Alazhar University, assured that extremism is not a phenomenon in Gaza. “I believe that Vittorio was killed by [the] Mossad that killed Juliano Mer Khamis weeks ago. They took a decision to stop the process of delegitimizing Israel and they did their best to liquidate the Palestinian cause,” said Abu Sharekh.
“The Mossad is behind the murder to tell the world that Gaza is full of extremists and there are no peace lovers,” he added. Abu Sharekh also stressed the fact that “Vittorio” comes from the Latin name Victorious. Thus, Vittorio decided to humanize life when others tried to animalize and dehumanize it. “Accordingly, he behaved according to the connotation and connotation of his name.”
“Vittorio was martyred for Palestine, the killers don’t belong to us and Palestine is a shrine for all freedom fighters like the holy City of Mecca” he assured. “His soul is hovering around us and he was a witness of Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians.”
“He took trouble to come here and stand by fishermen and farmers, paid to make life easier for other people and fought with us for a just tomorrow for our people. For this reason, he was haunted by US and European powers” said Mr. Ahmed Alhaj. He stressed that “the criminals are not Muslims and they use Islam to cover their crime. Western Powers intended to kill him and they have agents here and everywhere.”
Dr. Mosheer Amer, a lecturer at IUG and Media Discourse Analyst expressed his sadness for the loss of Vittorio, calling him “The son of Palestine who sacrificed his life for what he believed in.” Amer agreed that the Mossad is behind the murder for two reasons: to delay the second Flotilla and to cause problems to Hamas with other small groups in Gaza. “The Palestinian society has been very clear in defining the enemy (The Zionist enemy),” he said.
Ramy Almghari, a writer and a journalist based in Gaza, said, “ISM has been in Palestine long time ago. This could not be separated from the murder of Rachel Corrie. ISM activists are freedom fighters and they should not stop working with Palestinians hand by hand.”
“What happened was very shocking. He was fighting against the occupation. The loss of Vik was a tragedy for his family and Palestinians as well,” said Dr. Hani Albasous, CPDS vice chairman. “What happened was a crime that does not represent Gaza and meant to stop the international delegation and portray Gazans as extremists.”
“This will not happen. Gazans will have stronger relations with internationals. It will push many people to come to Gaza, particularly his family and friends,” he added.
Dr. Ayman Alhallaq, a lecturer at IUG in the Literary Criticism Department, stressed the importance of having writers who publish in English to reflect the Palestinian point of view, having our media in the West and providing channels for free, as well as having more social access to people to change public opinion there.
Commenting on Vittorio’s murder, he said, “The killers don’t belong to us and we are supposed to respect internationals. Those who did it are not Palestinians and Vittorio deserves all respect.”
(Facebook / 29.04.2011)