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.”
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.