The Times reports that a member of the hard-left pro-Palestinian group ISM (International Solidarity Movement) has come to a bad end. Vittorio Arrigoni went to Gaza to participate in protests against Israel. He wrote to a friend, "“I am very tense, exhausted, if they don’t kill anyone in the next 24 hours, I am getting out Thursday. Your V.” Which is to say he went there hoping someone would be killed in the fighting so that he could pretend to be angry about it.
Instead he was kidnapped by a Palestinian group named Tawhid and Jihad. T & J offered to trade him to Hamas for the leader of their organization whom Hamas had arrested earlier. (Though the line between arrested and kidnapped is a tad thinner in Gaza than in other places.) They gave Hamas a 30 hour deadline to comply.
The scandal, even by Gaza standards, is that T & J strangled Arrigoni with a plastic cord twenty four hours before their own deadline. Whether they never intended to free Arrigoni no matter what Hamas did, or whether they were afraid Hamas was onto them and had to get away fast, and murdered Arrigoni lest he identify them is not clear. But then, what is clear in Gaza?
What is so charming about all this is that the fundamental premise of ISM is its cynicism, its deliberate dismissal of fairness. And as cynical and cool as Arrigoni thought he was, he was nowhere near cynical enough to understand how murderous and primitive his hosts were. Arrigoni, as an Italian, was deliberately suspending his own notions of fairness and decency by participating in ISM. He assumed that his Palestinian hosts were doing the same. He didn't realize that people like Hamas and Tawhid and Jihad are not suspending principles of fairness and decency. By Western standards, they don't have any. By being in ISM, Arrigoni was defying Italian social norms. The Arabs who killed him were acting out Palestinian social norms, not defying them.
Arrigoni went to Gaza hoping Palestinians would be killed so he could use their deaths as propaganda for his cause. And the Palestinians who killed him did so to use his death as propaganda for their cause. The word for that is "justice".
But wait, it gets better. His captors didn't just kill Arrigoni. They tortured him first. According to the Palestinian doctor who performed the autopsy, while his hands were tied behind his back and before being strangled, Arrigoni was beaten above and behind the ear with a sharp heavy object. So the theory that he was being held as a hostage for exchange goes awry. Especially with his having been strangled six hours into a thirty hour deadline. So the line between political violence and random murders thins to invisibility for the Left's fair-haired boys?
After Arrigoni was kidnapped/arrested, T & J took credit for his abduction and sent an ultimatum to Hamas demanding the release of their leader. After Arrigoni's body was found, T & J denied having abducted him. Hamas, for its part, claimed Israel had kidnapped and killed Arrigoni. Since the alternative was to admit their control of Gaza appears to be slipping, that was the best Hamas could do.
Clearly these people need, deserve, and ought to have a state of their own in which to rationally and responsibly work out their destiny as a community. And I guarantee you that that is exactly what the UN General Assembly is going to vote to do some time this year.
For Jews, the temptation to laugh up one's sleeve at a European Israel-hater being beaten and strangled by Arab Israel-haters, the very people he supposedly had gone to Gaza to help, is strong. Fortunately we are too mature and forgiving to do that. (snicker) (chortle) (yuk yuk yuk) HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!