The murder of Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza is noteworthy for two things: the ironic nature of his slaying and the anti-Semitic slanders that the killing has engendered.

Arrigoni’s body was found in a house in Gaza by Hamas operatives looking for the Italian after he was kidnapped by an even more extremist Palestinian group named Tawhid and Jihad. This previously little known organization had snatched the activist in an attempt to force the Hamas rulers of Gaza to release their leader, who was arrested in March.

The killing of Arrigoni by a Palestinian group is a bitter irony. While Arrigoni is being hailed today as a “human rights” worker, his activities and those of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to which he belonged have nothing whatever to do with aiding the people of Gaza.

The ISM is a dedicated anti-Zionist group whose sole purpose in Gaza is to act as human shields for Hamas and other terrorist groups, enabling them to carry on their war on Israel. The focus of their much publicized exploits is to create anti-Israel propaganda, such as promoting the fairy tale that Gazans are starving or suffering from lack of medicine even though there is no shortage of food or medicine in Gaza.

Until Arrigoni’s death, the most famous member of the ISM was American-born Rachel Corrie who was killed in 2003 when she stretched herself out in the path of an Israeli bulldozer that was knocking down a house that served as an entry point for an arms-smuggling tunnel.

What Arrigoni and Corrie had in common was their utter disregard for the rights of ordinary Gazans who live under the tyranny of the Hamas Islamists. If possible, the plight of Israeli civilians who live under the constant threat of death at the hands of their Palestinian friends moved them even less.

But unlike Corrie, who deliberately threw her life away in order to aid Hamas terrorism, Arrigoni was killed by the people that he was there to assist. If nothing else, Arrigoni’s murder illustrates the dysfunctional nature of Palestinian culture in which the shedding of blood, even that of a Westerner who had dedicated his life to helping their war on Israel, is an unexceptional event.

Rather than acknowledge the truth about life in Gaza, the Palestinians have predictably resorted to the anti-Semitic dogmas that are integral to their faith. Instead of chalking this murder up to the intricacies of infighting between the competing terror movements, Hamas blamed Arrigoni’s death on a plot by Israel. A Hamas spokesman said Friday that the Israelis killed Arrigoni to scare away foreign activists who were planning another flotilla to break the isolation of the terror enclave. Playing along with this lie was Tawhid and Jihad, who had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping a day earlier but now denies it.

Yet as bad as those lies are, the response from the International Solidarity Movement is even more despicable. When interviewed this morning on the BBC World Service’s World Update show, a representative of the group refused to admit that Palestinians had killed Arrigoni. He implied instead that Israel was behind the death. When pressed by the BBC’s Dan Damon, the spokesman insisted that the murder was more likely to be the work of Israel than the Palestinians whom the ISM supported.

It speaks volumes about the hatred of the Jewish state exhibited by this group that even after one of their own is murdered, they prefer smearing Israel to owning up to the vicious truth about the Palestinians.

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