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Jul-02-2011 17:46printcommentsVideo

Vittrorio Arrigoni 'Stay Human' - the Story in Gaza from Beyond the Grave.

Documentary recounts struggles of famed Gaza Activist Vik Arrigoni.

Vittorio Arrigono as a child in Italy, and shortly before his death in Gaza.
Vittorio Arrigono as a child in Italy, and shortly before his death in Gaza. Special thanks: Daniela Domenica Loffreda

(SALEM, Ore.) - If you weren't angry over Israel's aggressive position toward innocent civilians in Palestine before, you will be after watching this brand new documentary about our friend and fellow writer, the late Vittorio 'Vik' Arrigoni was was killed in Gaza, last April.

This special production from Al Jazeera that was recorded before Vik's tragic death, was intended to showcase his accomplishments and experiences from a living perspective, while outlining his future aspirations. Instead, it is the story in Gaza told from beyond the grave.

Among many points, the film follows this Italian human rights activist as he campaigns for the fishermen of Gaza. Israel's ridiculous three-mile limit placed on Gaza's own waters, was simply created to deny their ability to go where the fish are. While aiding the fishermen as an unarmed (always unarmed) international observer, Vik was shot and beaten, but still able to record the brutality in a way that should, by itself, bring the world down on Israel's head.

Due to its cozy position with the United States primarily, Israel is allowed to destroy humanity like a construction wrecking ball and there are virtually no Israelis dying, for several-month long stretches of time to justify their victim status. But every day, with no exceptions, Palestinians are being brutalized, raped and killed by Israel's deadly forces who operate with almost sanctimonious behavior.

Tattoo reads: 'The Resistance' - Uprooted Palestinians

Through his role as founder of ISM Gaza (International Solidarity Movement) Vik was more than committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using non-violent methods. In fact that incredible tattoo on his bicep that came to represent him for many of us, reads in Arabic, "The Resistance".

Vik was a brother in the truest sense and working with people like Ken O'Keefe, our writer who was in Gaza when this went down, he made a difference for so many people in his life.

In the film he relates his experience of Israel's war on Gaza and explains why he chose to visit and live in Gaza in the first place.

He talks about how during Operation Cast Lead in 2008/2009, Israel managed to target and kill 16 doctors along with almost 1500 other mostly civilian residents. They killed a lot of Hamas police officers who were having an outdoor graduation ceremony when the bombs started falling. Those on the ground never had a chance.

This is what Israel is about.

Along with deadly white phosporous that was dropped on homes burning people alive, they had snipers on rooftops taking out ambulance drivers who were accompanied by ISM observers. Israel targeted established hospitals and then blocked ambulance crews from evacuating the patients.

This was a rampant problem during Cast Lead. Israel had its morals leave the building years ago. Now they are simply a band of terrorists who must be stopped and there is not too high of a price to pay. Israel's black heart sprayed blood all over Gaza.

The U.S. media continues to utterly fail and falsely portray the elected government Hamas in Gaza as something it is not, while viewing Israel as somehow having a justified reason for murdering so many tens of thousands of Palestinians since 1947 and earlier; stealing their lands, subjecting them to a different set of laws than those that govern and regulate Jews. A pitiful, regrettable mistake is being made.

In documenting these Israeli atrocities against people and filing reports, Vik became a battle hardened soldier for peace. He always worked out and had an amazing physique, but his strength was only there to offer love and support and protection.

Vik's grandmother in Italy was a partisan who fought the fascist and Nazi forces of WWII. The need to battle injustice was very much in Vik's blood, and he waged strategic campaigns of peace that threatened Israel.

On 14 April 2011 Vittorio Arrigoni was abducted in Gaza.

His kidnappers released a video of him and demanded the release of Salafists detained by Hamas. The following day Arrigoni was found dead by Hamas security forces in a house in the north of Gaza. This film was made before his death.

If there was ever an example of who Hamas is and who they are not, it is found in their quest to save Vik's life. Bear in mind that Vik had little love for Hamas, he was a voice that spoke out against this political group.

He respected their good work but was critical of Hamas's often overreaching attempts to control the population of Gaza, particularly during outcries for peace and solidarity. Vik wrote about this for Salem-News.com in March.

We really lost a great activist leader in April. It saddened so many around the world who had watched this man, so full of life, subject his body to Israel's unwarranted violence. Vik's aim was to 'Stay Human' Restiamo Umani, that was his line, and that is what he did.

In his name and for his legacy, we humans need to hold the course and ensure that Palestine finds its freedom, and that those within Israel responsible for so much bloodshed, so many war crimes, and so many publicly stated lies, are brought to justice.

Our special tribute to Vittorio Arrigoni by Salem-News.com's Agron Belica

I know Vik would have been the first to stand at the dock in Gaza and welcome his brothers and sisters from the Freedom Flotilla II which is seeing one setback after another, but remains determined to break the blockade and siege that Israel has illegally kept in place for so many years.

The United States is backing the wrong horse. It has taken the wrong turn on the wrong offramp and any hope of ever being viewed as a good and moral nation by this world is fleeting fast.

So to be clear, and for the historical record, I believe that the government of Israel, not the citizenry and not the religion; but elected members of the Knesset guiding Israel's political and military future, are the most dangerous operators alive.

They are the enemies of the free, the anti-fascist resistance, those who seek peace, and love children. Israel is our enemy and when the day comes that the people of Israel are ready to rise up against their own failing, cruel leadership, then perhaps we will have a chance. For now they are the Berliners of the 30's and they know it.

Dr. Gabriele Weber in Germany, sent a petition link to Salem-News.com, that is below the video. Please sign it and live your life according to Vittorio Arrigoni's goals.

It is likely that YouTube will pull this video due to its ties to YouTube and its position as a tool of the Israeli occupation. If so, please visit the original version on Al Jazeera.

As always, thanks to the crews at al Jazeera for spending time with our Brother Vik and creating this awesome documentary.

"We ask: when will the world’s countries act according to the basic premise that people should be treated equally, regardless of their origin, ethnicity or colour – is it so far-fetched that a Palestinian child deserves the same human rights as any other child in the world? Will you be able to look back and say you stood on the right side of history or will you have sided with the oppressor?" (Petition from Gaza: Brake Siege - Support Freedom Flotilla II
http://www.petitions24.com/break_the_siege_support_freedom_flotilla_ii)

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 93 Salem-News.com writers in more that 20 countries. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com. Another way to reach Tim is by leaving a comment on any Salem-News.com story, specify 'message to Tim'




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Kefah July 3, 2011 1:18 pm (Pacific time)

thank you for the story


Agron Belica July 2, 2011 10:23 pm (Pacific time)

Great work!!!


M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. July 2, 2011 8:43 pm (Pacific time)

I know that Vik is smiling down upon the Audacity of Hope, Tahrir and all the boats and crew... all the passengers... and that he is proud of their efforts; not at all considering them lost because the Greek government has lost its way in the world and turned its back toward Palestine. The eyes of the world have never been so open to the plight of the Palestinian people and the despicable actions of the US and Israel. (Some good news... pressure now being applied to Papandreou from within his own party and from newly installed leftist PMs to release the boats) Big thanks for this article, Tim!

Tim King: Thank you so much!


AdamS July 2, 2011 6:41 pm (Pacific time)

Great work Tim. I hope we get the same prison cell...

Tim King: We can get those little cockroaches to carry notes...

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