A BBC newsflash reported on Friday that “the body of an Italian peace campaigner”, who had been taken hostage in Gaza, had been found. Vittorio Arrigoni, a pro-Palestinian activist, was abducted last Thursday. After his Palestinian captors had released a photo of him bound, blindfolded and bloodied, police found him hanged in a Gaza City house following receiving a tip-off.
My late rabbi and teacher, Hugo Gryn, who spent his childhood years in Auschwitz concentration camp, used to say that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who polarize and those who seek to build bridges. Vittorio Arrigoni was clearly one of the former.
The fact that the BBC should have chosen to refer to Arrigoni as a “peace campaigner” shows how Doublespeak can distort the truth and create undeserved sympathy for a despicable human being, who sought to incite and spread hatred.