Calev Ben David writes an insightful editorial about the murder of Angelo Frammartino, the young Italian pacifist who was murdered by a young Palestinian in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. He points out that unlike Rachel Corrie, the international media did not pick up this story and certainly it is not being played up as an example of, well, of typical Palestinian attacks targeting civilians.
Like Rachel Corrie, Angelo Frammartino was an idealistic young foreign political activist who came to Israel to work on behalf of the Palestinians. And, like her, he met a violent end here.
In contrast to Corrie, though, who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza three years ago, it is unlikely that there will be any songs written, plays performed or documentary movies made about the 24-year-old Frammartino.
The Palestinian killer had no way of knowing Angelo wasn’t a Jew and therefore considered him a legitimate target. This is not, as most Israelis know, unusual at all. Palestinians involved in terrorism and other violence against Israel tend to attack civilians whom they believe to be Jewish. Unfortunately, there are many in the world who believe this is a legitimate form of fighting the Israelis. As Ben David and others, including some on our site have pointed out, Frammartino himself publicly spoke of his understanding of what he called “legitimate self-defense.”
“We must recognize that a situation with no violence is a luxury in many parts of the world, but we are not seeking to prevent legitimate self-defense operations. I would never dream of condemning the resistance, the blood of the Vietnamese, the blood of nations under colonial occupation, or the blood of Palestinian youths from the first intifada.”
I suspect that he had no idea that he would be a victim of such violence and doubt that his abstract ideas written in peaceful Italy would have stood fast had he remained alive and it had been one of his walking friends that fateful day in the Old City who had been murdered instead for these supposedly “legitimate self defense” purposes.
Ben David writes:
…[E]ven after Frammartino’s murder ARCI [an over-arching NGO European body that sponsored Frammartino’s visit] rushed to post a statement on its Web site, declaring: “We do not believe that this act can be interpreted as a terrorist act, or a manifestation of ethnic hatred. We do believe that it can be interpreted as a worrying symptom of the ever-worsening socioeconomic crisis in the marginalized areas of East Jerusalem.”
This is an unfortunate and willful blindness on the part of many on the Left and certainly many in Europe who are not on the Left, where they ignore the meaning and source of such attacks.
While it is well and good to blame everything on Israel or on “occupation” or on poverty or on whatever reason for the “legitimate self defense” that essentially targets civilians, in fact there are other reasons to consider in these attacks. Just as the EU covered up the original version of their report on antisemitism in Western Europe and its growth as a consequence of the hatred of young Muslims for Jews in general, the continued covering up for these misdeeds against Israel and Israelis, such as this murder of a young Italian, ends up encouraging more violence. It also lends legitimacy to groups such as Hizbullah and Hamas and their actions.
Ben David writes:
Angelo Frammartino, whatever his political views, came to Israel in a selfless act of charity to help Palestinian children, and he should be hailed for that. But perhaps he – and certainly those who sent him here – were reluctant to acknowledge that there are other forces at play in this region that go far beyond whatever legitimate grievances the Palestinians and other Arabs have against the Jewish state.
This is the blind, unjust and indiscriminate hatred and resentment that promotes and feeds terror acts and illegitimate expressions of force against Israel and Israelis, the twisted ideology of extremist radical political movements, of corrupt and cynical dictatorial Arab governments, and especially of fundamentalist Islamic groups opposed not only to any true expressions of coexistence with Israel, but equally to any real acceptance of genuine values of freedom, equality and democracy.
This is clear as day to many of us. While there are many out there who recognize these issues, it seems obvious that for years now we have been playing a game wherein others – including many in key media organizations – continually wish to equate Israel’s actions to those of terrorists. I would say much of the coverage we saw of the war against Hizbullah recently represents this sad truth.
Well, okay. Here is a chance to find balance and equality. Let’s see a play in London and New York about Angelo Frammartino’s murder by a Palestinian raised from childhood to consider the murder of Jews to be desirable.