On every 15th of the month, seemingly, we, Palestinians, always have something to mourn over as the list of our tragedies will never cease to grow longer. Not to mention the tragedy of last month of March 15th nor the tragedy of the upcoming month of May 15th –in commemoration of Al-Nakba Day, April 15th is another real tragedy by which we were all struck and almost killed, for it was beyond our expectations. It’s the tragic death of our tragic hero “Vittorio Arrigoni”, the brave Italian journalist and the ISM (International Solidarity Movement) activist.
Yesterday was weird enough that all Facebook updates on my news feed had suddenly been all the same as they started out as “Free Vik” and, in a twinkling, ended up as “R.I.P Vik”. Sadly –or rather ironically, after I had updated my status which was like “Free Vittorio”, I posted a comment addressing a pro-Israeli who said that the abduction of this man was living proof that we, the Palestinians (in fact s/he put the word “Palestinians” in inverted commas as though s/he didn't seem to approve of the word) don’t care who stands by our side and who doesn't, for all what we care about is blood and money. Furiously agitated, I replied that “I’m, like many other thousands Gazans, are against such a shameful act and we all feel terribly sorry for that. Vittorio will be released very soon and I assure you that he will be just alright.
And please don’t offend and blame all the Palestinians for what those idiots, who neither represent the Palestinians nor Islam in whose name they speak braggingly, have committed”. After posting this, I tried to nap for a while, for I was extremely exhausted and sad. But I couldn't. I re-logged in my Facebook account only to find out that “VIK IS NOW DEAD”. With my heart panting heavily, I tightly closed my eyes attempting to shake off this overnight trauma, thinking that I did actually fall asleep. I re-opened my eyes widely to re-read what I had previously read, hoping to find something different in real reality. However, it was all the same. Vik is dead and that was the harsh reality I had woken up to that night.
It took me a few minutes to recover myself and only then could I shed some tears, unable to contain my feelings. The whole world seemed to be rapidly changing within a matter of “a nap” which couldn't be taken as our tragedies make our night nightmarishly sleepless. The man was murdered, brutally. He was killed at the hands of a Zio-Nazis-Salafist gang of thugs who can be anything but Palestinians. The reason why a man like Vittorio would be targeted seemed, to the whole world, indecipherable. Yet, it’s quite simple. We should ask ourselves this question of who would benefit from seeing this man dead. Who would be celebrating over the loss of a freedom activist? Who would rejoice at the death of a man who dedicated his life for the Palestinian cause –our cause, exposing the Israeli crimes and violations of human rights and fighting injustice with his bare hands and an unarmored chest? Who would be wishing to kill a man who posed a threat to a state –an apartheid state by showing its real ugly face? Who’s this man’s enemy?
Undoubtedly, IT IS Israel.
Israel wants him dead. Israel wants the whole world to despise us by showing us as terrorists killing our supporters and those in solidarity with us so that the world would quit supporting and helping us. Israel wants him dead so that international activists would be terrified and never think of approaching this terrifying territory of us.
They were wrong, however.
People around the world are recognizing the truth and are no longer buying their manipulated narratives. The whole world is now witnessing that we are much more agonized by his tragic death than anyone else. How wouldn't we and we've lost a brave man who used to act as a human shield, accompanying farmers in buffer zones and fisherman in the sea, sacrificing his life despite his knowing that he would be shot at any moment –mistakenly or unknowingly the Israelis would say. He didn't care, however. He was such a hero. A real hero at a time when real examples of heroism rarely exist.
We’re so sorry, Vic, but you already knew that Israel wants each and every Palestinian dead and you were far more Palestinian than many other Palestinians themselves. You’re a great loss to humanity. Even if Israel wants you dead, you are never dead. You are living within us. You will never be forgotten. And your murderers will never be forgiven.
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|Timothy V. Gatto|
|William A. Cook|