Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Support Israel as a Jewish State or Else, Italian Style
In an astute propaganda move which is part of the enormous Pro-Israel bias in Italy's mass media, a demonstration coordinated by Giuliano Ferrara, the editor of a right wing newspaper, "Il Foglio" will be held Thursday in front of the Iranian Embassy. And the leader of the Roman Jewish Community states that whoever does not take part is not only an enemy of Israel, but an enemy of the Italian Jews.
Says Rizzo, "I will not participate because I am not going to take part in any demonstration that does not clearly contemplate the words, 'Two People and Two States'. To participate in the candlelight vigil would mean taking the side of only one of the opposing groups and it doesn't help at all, and actually it could become counterproductive to that peace process that we are hoping will one day be carried forward."
Meanwhile polemics over the demonstration have come to the surface by a declaration made by the Spokesman of the Roman Jewish Community, Riccardo Pacifici to the Israeli newspaper Maariv. Pacifici expressed himself in this way: "The gathering will permit all the critics of Israel, who affirm that they oppose the politics of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government, but who do not hate Israel, to get beside us, together with us before the gates of the Iranian Embassy. The Italian Jews will attentively verify who will participate in the demonstration and who is absent. There is no doubt that whoever will avoid participating in it will be considered not only an enemy of Israel, but an enemy of the Italian Jews."
Following this statement, the President of the Union of the Jewish Communities in Italy, Amos Luzzatto tried to soften the declarations of Pacifici: "The absence of a single person at the demonstration isn't enough to judge: one could be sick, or abroad. If rather, a political force decides to not come, they had better explain well just why, and then we will make our evaluations."
And, on the online site of the news agency IGN, of ADN Kronos, Pacifici continues his menacing tone: "In addition, we must express praise for the initiative promoted by Giuliano Ferrara, who has at this point had the merit of uniting exponents of the political world who are in diametrically opposed positions, in the name of a common civil conscience." Pacifici is strongly critical of whoever will not join in the initiative, "even when faced with the threats of the very existence of a State on the part of another State that, among other things, has the potential and the material to really be a truly, concretely offensive. In a case of the sort, there can be no justifications of who other times has refused to participate in initiatives supporting Israel with the 'pretext' of dissent against the politics of the Israeli government: we can discuss everything, because this is the salt of democracy, but before the physical threats, and explicit declarations of hostility it is necessary to draw some lines. For this, I repeat, that whoever does not participate in Thursday's demonstration or will not manifest his own support and adhesion to the initiative in case he cannot physically take part, will be considered not only an enemy of Israel, but also an enemy of the Italian Jews: because whoever will not adhere it is as if he implicitly supports the positions of the Iranian President."