July 19, 2024
Are the doors of anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli, and anti-US hatred still open in Italy?
Europe Iran Israel Middle East Politics

Are the doors of anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli, and anti-US hatred still open in Italy?

by Giovanni Giacalone

In December of 2021, an article that included documents, published by the Italian online newspaper “Il Riformista“, revealed new and dreadful information on the attack against the Great Synagogue of Rome on October 9th, 1982.

The attack, perpetrated with automatic firearms and hand grenades by a Palestinian terrorist cell belonging to the Abu Nidal organization, caused the death of 2-year-old Stefano Gaj Tachè and the injury of 37 people.

According to information, from June 18th to October 9th, 1982 (the day of the attack) the Italian internal intelligence agency of the time, SISDE, sent the government and the police at least 16 reports of imminent attacks on Italian soil, against Jewish targets. In the last report, dated October 2nd, the Synagogue was directly indicated as the objective. On September 25th, another cable indicated the terrorist group involved, the Abu Nidal organization.

The Israeli embassy had also warned that Palestinian terrorists were aiming to attack Italian Jewish targets, since the Israeli ones were too difficult to hit.

Despite the continuous warnings from the SISDE, the Great Synagogue of Rome was not guarded and, on October 9th, even the police patrol vehicle that was usually stationed outside the Synagogue, was not there despite the Shemini Atzeret and the Bar Mitzvot taking place.

The attack occurred five months into the 1982 Lebanon war, a period in which Jews around the world were under fire for Israel’s invasion of southern Lebanon aimed at stopping attacks by Palestinian terrorism.

Two days after the attack, on October 11th, 1982, Prof. Bruno Zevi held a speech in the name of the Jewish Community of Rome where he made some important points which are extremely current even today (full speech in Italian here):

Zevi said that :“The first concerned the State of Israel, the anti-Zionist campaign, which had already expanded in an abnormal and poisonous manner. We warned that anti-Zionism was nothing more than a disguise for anti-Semitism, as it was and has become increasingly evident from the Arab countries to the Soviet Union”.

Today we are seeing a similar situation and, even if the Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore, we can still see the same sentiment coming from the left and radical left, from Iran, and the Islamists.

Zevi also pointed the finger against the antisemitism that was present within some of the Catholic world and among the Marxist-Leninists, citing the concerning situation in schools and universities. Isn’t that what we see today on campuses in the United States, the UK, and Europe?

And again, Zevi also referred to “an indiscriminate campaign against the State and the people of Israel and the diaspora communities, after the ferocious and hysterical attacks against the so-called “holocausts”, exterminations and massacres that the Israelis allegedly carried out”.

Is there anything familiar with today’s situation?

On December 11th, 2021, the “Times of Israel” published an article recalling the information exposed by the Italian media and discussing the long-held accusations that Italy had agreed on an alleged deal not to interfere with Palestinian terror attacks on Jewish targets, the so-called “Lodo Moro”.

The allegations had been known since 2008, when former Italian Prime Minister and President, Francesco Cossiga, told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth that Italy had “sold out its Jews” and signed a deal that allowed Palestinian terror groups a “free hand” to operate against Jewish and Israeli targets in Italy in exchange for not attacking other Italian interests.

In exchange for a ‘free hand’ in Italy, the Palestinians ensured the security of our state and [the immunity] of Italian targets outside the country from terrorist attacks. As long as these objectives do not collaborate with Zionism and with the State of Israel,” Cossiga had said.

At the time, the allegations were strenuously denied in Italy and Cossiga was portrayed as delusional. However, as explained in the ToI article, documents unearthed by Italian media showed that at the time Italy ignored threats against Jewish and Israeli institutions, particularly in the case of the 1982 attack on the Rome synagogue.

The mechanism revealed is quite simple: as long as the campaign is against the Jews, Zionism, Israel (and even the United States), it is tolerable. What matters is that Italian objectives or interests are not affected.

Therefore, we can see preachers on Italian soil glorifying Hamas terror mastermind and bombmaker Yahya Ayyash, calling the October 7th massacre “self-defense”, like Mohammad Hannoun. We can see Pakistani preacher Zulfikar Khan defend and praise Hamas from the pulpit of a mosque; we can hear him claim that “the Jews are cruel because they use their intelligence to harm others”; and even go on mainstream TV shows and declare that : “The Israelites are terrorists and deceivers according to the Bible“, and that “Deception with the aim of self-interest is part of the Jewish faith“.

And of course: “The day America was born, unbelief was also born, the idea of ​​murder, of genocide was also born, the father of falsehood called Semitism was born”.

Khan recently claimed that “In Italy there is freedom of speech, unlike in Israel” while publicly attacking a journalist from Bologna’s Resto del Carlino for writing about his sermon content. The preacher even called her a “Kafir” from the pulpit of his mosque and he also began to attack Italian MPs who presented an inquiry to the Minister of Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, since it is unclear why the preacher, who never verbally attacked Italy, is still free to spread such content.

On June 17th, Italian MP Sara Kelany (Fratelli d’Italia) released a statement saying that the imam does not intimidate anyone and his words are very clear.

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