Italian actor Moni Ovadia resigned from the Milan Jewish community with accusations that it is a “propaganda office” of the Israeli government.

The announcement by Ovadia, 67, in an interview published last week in the daily Il Fatto Quotidiano sparked a row in the Italian Jewish world. “I don’t want to stay in a place that calls itself a Jewish community but is the propaganda office of a government,” he said. “I am against those who want to ‘Israelianize’ Judaism.”

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A longtime left-wing critic of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy toward the Palestinians, Ovadia also said he had been barred from taking part in a major Jewish culture festival in Milan at the end of September because of his views.

Milan Jewish community spokesman Daniele Nahum said assertions by the well-known actor were “full of falsehoods.” He stated, “We represent Milanese Jewry and are not the agency of anyone.”

Ovadia describes himself as Jewish but agnostic.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. I DID NOT KNOW THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT COULD BAR SOMEONE FROM THE FESTIVAL DUE TO THEIR PROTEST OF GOVERNMENT. IN THE US WE HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT OF PROTEST, AND CAN NOT BE PUNISHED FOR SPEAKING OUT, PROTESTING, DEBATING, OR EXPOSING OUR GOVERNMENT. WE HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHTS TO DEBATE ANY ISSUE, IN OUR FIRST AMENDMENT TO OUR CONSTITUTION. SOME COUNTRIES ARE NOT SO LUCKY. WHETHER THE MAN IS RIGHT OR WRONG IS REALLY NOT THE ISSUE, IT IS HIS LEGAL RIGHT TO DISAGREE PUBLICLY WITH GOVERNMENT POLICY, AND POLICY MAKERS. I PRAISE GOD FOR OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

  2. Actor Ovadia may like very much the modern Jewish ghetto, times have changed…very understandable. Affluence, liberties, sincerity between nations, technology advancements, religious freedoms, tolerance. All these, not to be confused with the state Israel?!By the way, his laugh is contagious!

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