Ramzy Baroud: On Staying Human, Despite All Odds

My father, who once became an "Allied Prisoner of War" in Erbisoeul Belgium, where he had to subsist on extremely meager rations, until he was rescued by the Red Cross in Geneva, taught me to be kind to all of God's creatures. Italian justice activist Vittorio Arrigoni must have had a similar upbringing: Vittorio was reportedly murdered by a fundamentalist group in Gaza, a few hours after he was kidnapped on Thursday, April 14. The killing was supposedly in retaliation for Hamas's crackdown on this group's members. All who knew "Vic" will attest to the fact that he was an extraordinary person, a model of compassion, solidarity and humanity. Arrigoni's body was discovered in an abandoned house after he was kidnapped. His murderers didn't honor their own deadline of thirty hours. The group, known as the Tawhid and Jihad, is one of the fringe groups known in Gaza as the Salafis. They resurface under different names and manifestations, for specific, and often bloody purposes. The killing prompted grief in Gaza, but also despair, read an op-ed in the UK Independent on April 16. Not only was Arrigoni well known and well liked there, but it escaped no one that this kidnapping was the first since that of the BBC journalist Alan Johnson in 2007.

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