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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Rome Jewish Community President also Sent Pig’s Head

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The president of the Rome Jewish community revealed that he too had been sent the severed head of a pig about 10 days after pig heads were sent to Rome’s main synagogue, the Israeli embassy and a museum with an exhibit on Jewish culture in January.

Riccardo Pacifici made the revelation during testimony Wednesday at the trial of seven right-wing extremists accused of violating Italy’s anti-racism, anti-fascism laws by scrawling anti-Semitic graffiti on city walls. Pacifici said he had not alerted the media to the incident earlier in order not to give it attention.

At the close of his testimony, according to local media, Pacifici and one of the defendants got into a shouting match that nearly came to blows. The reports said that defendant Stefano Schiavelli had verbally “provoked” Pacifici in a way that prompted Pacifici to accuse him of threatening him. The reports said Pacifici was escorted from the court by his bodyguards, repeatedly stating that he was “not afraid.”

Italian Police Find Pig Culprit

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Italian police have identified the man who sent the pig heads to Rome’s main shul, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.

The man was identified as Ernosto Morosini, and he wanted to create an Antisemitic movement, and sent them to build a following.

Italians Help Israel Protect Historic Sites in Holy Land

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

A special monitoring system run by the University of Padova in Italy has been installed in the Tower of David heritage site as part of an international project that attempts to use technology to determine the structural weaknesses in an ancient edifice .

The Tower of David is the tallest structure in the Old City of Jerusalem and a famous symbol to residents and tourist, with at least 2,000 years’ worth of history dating back to the First Temple period.

However, six major cracks in the tower raise questions if the structure would be able to survive an earthquake. Israel is located in a region extremely prone to earthquakes, and a major quake could be devastating.

“A major earthquake poses a serious threat and needs to be treated as such,” Dr. Avi Shapira, chairman of Israel’s National Earthquake Preparedness Committee,  told Tazpit News Agency.

“We want to preserve the structures of our past and historical monuments of the Holy Land that are significant to the world.,” he added.

Israel experienced five moderate earthquakes in October, which prompted experts to install a seismic monitoring system at the Tower of David in November 2013.

In a special conference at the Tower of David this week, Italian experts brought their knowledge during unique sessions addressing earthquake monitoring.

“Italy is a world leader in the earthquake monitoring field and conducting research in methodology for effective dealing with earthquakes,” explains Professor Claudio Modena, a Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Padova. “Israel is new to this area, and we believe that sharing our knowledge will help maintain historical structures in the event of a major earthquake.”

Modena, who lives in Verona, Italy, has also investigated historical and archaeological sites in Akko, Tzfat, and Beit Shean.

Rescuing A Vital Piece of 20th-Century Jewish History

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Among the many places forgotten by history and lost in memory is Sciesopoli, in Selvino, Italy. Originally built as a retreat and training center for Fascist youth in the 1930s, it is located in the Alps near Bergamo, less than 100 kilometers from Milan.

In Sciesopoli, which was named after Antonio Sciesa, a hero of the Risorgimento movement for Italian reunification, young people were trained in martial arts, sports and military drills, and the facility served as the barracks for the soldiers of the future.

There were dormitories, dining halls, an indoor swimming pool, a cinema, an infirmary – all located in a 29,000-square-meter park that also included courtyards for military parades. The walls were decorated with pictures of dictator Benito Mussolini and banners of the youth brigades. To this day there is a marble plaque in the entrance hall with the names of those who contributed to the building of Sciesopoli; Mussolini’s name and his contribution of 5,000 lire appear on top.

In September 1945, after the end of the war and the fall of Fascism, a delegation composed of Raffaele Cantoni, head of Jewish community of Milan; Moshe Ze’eri, a member of the Palestine Unit of the British Royal Engineers; and Teddy Be’eri, a member of the same unit, was able to obtain the use of Sciesopoli for Jewish orphan survivors of the Holocaust.

Hundreds of young Jews arrived from all over Europe – from the camps, from convents, from forests and graveyards. They arrived one by one or in small groups, skin and bone, frightened, hungry, delusional.

In Selvino they discovered a paradise they could not have imagined: a fabulous castle where they reclaimed their childhood, had plenty of food, were loved and cared for; “reborn to a new life,” as Aharon Megged wrote in The Story of the Selvino Children: Journey to the Promised Land.

The people of Selvino, led by their mayor, Vinicio Grigis, welcomed the children with generosity and acts of personal hospitality, helping them to regain their smiles.

Sciesopoli continued to provide food, shelter, rehabilitation and education to survivors and refugee children until November 1948. The majority of the children eventually found their way to Palestine with the help of the nearby Milanese Jewish community, the municipality of Milan, the soldiers of the Jewish Brigade, the Jewish Agency, the Joint Distribution Committee, Youth Aliyah and former partisans who fought the Fascists and the Nazis.

In 1984, a group of sixty-six former “Children of Selvino” returned with family members. The mayor and the town’s residents received them warmly. The city was twinned with Kibbutz Tze’elim in the Negev, where some of the Selvino children had settled.

In subsequent years, many survivors and their family members returned to Selvino, tracing the journey they had made so long before.

In 2012 the city was graced with the presence of Miriam Brisk. Miriam’s parents, Lola and Salek Najman, were Polish survivors, members of the Gordonia Zionist Movement, who were sent to Sciesopoli to help the small staff and the growing number of children who were arriving daily.

Miriam, who resides in Ithaca, New York, retraced her parent’s route as it was recorded in her mother’s diary. After wandering through Poland and former Austrian DP camps, she met me in Bergamo and together we went to Selvino via Unione in Milan (which was the center for Aliyah Bet operations in Northern Italy and a shelter for Jewish refugees), Genoa and Bogliasco.

In Selvino we met with the former mayor and Walter Mazzoleni, son of the former custodian of Sciesopoli, and visited the building and vast grounds.

Walter is the only person in Selvino who still carries around memories (and a photo album) of the days he lived with the Children of Selvino. He guided us throughout the site, which is now deserted and vandalized.

Polish EU Legislator Calls Anti-Semitism a “Cancer’

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

“Anti-Semitism is like cancer. There are two things that are certain about this cancer of hate. We know that it is deadly and we know that if we don’t fight it,  it will spread,’’ Polish Member of the European Parliament Michal Kaminski said in an address to the General Assembly of the European Jewish Parliament Monday in Brussels.

‘’Vigilance is [the] key because like cancer, anti-Semitism often stays hidden for a long time until it strikes suddenly. But although it may hide from us, that does not make it any less dangerous,” he added.

Referring to debates in the European Parliament, Kaminsi said he often hears politicians shouting about “human rights” and “democracy” as they make verbally attacks against Israel. ‘’I believe that at the core of many of these attacks is a contempt for the Jewish people, a contempt for their state, and a contempt for their right to defend themselves.’’

His remarks came in the background of worrying results of a recent survey by the EU’s Agency for fundamental rights that 76% of the 6,000 Jews polled felt that their situation was getting worse and that anti-Semitism had increased over the past five years.

“While the EU is adamant in its claims to protect minorities within the member states, we are still confronting  the virus of anti-Semitism, which we thought was a thing of the past,’’ said Italian MEP Fiorello Provera, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Italy Is ‘Slave to Jewish Bankers,’ Populist Leader Declares

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

A populist leader of a protest group told the La Repubblica newspaper Friday that Italy is “slave to the bankers, like the Rothschilds” and that “It is curious that five or six of the richest people in the world are Jews, but this is something I need to investigate.”

The claims by Andrea Zunino, spokesman for the Forconi, or Pitchforks Movement, which spearheaded widespread anti-government and anti-austerity protests in Italy last week, drew immediate and harsh condemnation from Jewish leaders.

Zunino “is powered by the most violent and sinister anti-Semitic stereotypes,” Renzo Gattegna, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, said in a statement. In doing so, Gattegna said, he offends not only the memory of Holocaust victims but “above all the intelligence, democratic conscience, and maturity of the Italian people whose instances he wants to represent, clearly inadequately, in streets and piazzas across the country.”

Condemnation of Forconi’s statement also came from outside the Jewish world. According to Il Messaggero newspaper, Foad Aodi, president of the Community of the Arab World in Italy organization, called Zunino’s words “delusional, dangerous and manipulative regarding religions and the Jewish religion.”

The Anti-Defamation League also condemned the remarks. “These appalling comments display a deep-seated anti-Semitic hatred which never belongs in politics or anywhere in Italian society. Whatever grievances the Italian protest movement may have, anti-Semitism is simply unacceptable,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said in a statement.

Netanyahu Lights Hanukkah Candles in Rome’s Main Synagogue

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Rome’s main synagogue Sunday night and lit Hanukkah candles with his Italian counterpart Enrico Letta before he arrived at the Vatican for an audience with Pope Francis.

Speaking to the Jewish community and the media at Sunday’s ceremony, Netanyahu reiterated his warnings that the recent agreement on Iran’s nuclear program was a “historic error.”

Letta, saying he “knew Israel’s positions, doubts and fears,” turned to relations with Jews in Italy and stated that the current economic and social crisis fed “extremism, hate and intolerance,” and he pledged to resist the “racism, intolerance and xenophobia” that were growing in Italy “in a worrying manner.”

The two prime ministers held bilateral talks on Monday.

Bibi Lights Candles in Rome, Meets Pope

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

During a two day whirlwind trip to Rome, Prime Minister Netanyahu lit the Chanukah candles in Rome’s main synagogue on Sunday night, alongside Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

Netanyahu had the following to say at the candle lighting ceremony, according to an AFP report:

“It is very easy to receive a pat on the shoulder from the international community, to bow one’s head.I would like to dispel any illusions. Iran aspires to attain an atomic bomb.

It would thus threaten not only Israel but also Italy, Europe and the entire world.

There should be no going astray after the attack of smiles. Today there is a regime in Iran that supports terrorism, facilitates the massacre of civilians in Syria and unceasingly arms its proxies”.

Netanyahu also met with Pope Francis in the Vatican on Monday morning.

In October, the Pope snubbed Netanyahu during his visit, claiming the visit wasn’t coordinated far enough in advance. The Pope found time to meet with Palestinian Authority Abbas at the time.

The Pope is considering a trip to Israel in May.

Six ministers joined Netanyahu on the trip, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bibi-lights-candles-in-rome-meets-pope/2013/12/02/

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