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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Anti-Netanyahu Italian Actor Quits Milan Jewish Community

Monday, November 11th, 2013

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.

Obama Begins Attack Blitz, Says 24 Nations Back ‘Strong Response’

Monday, September 9th, 2013

The White House announced Monday that more than dozen more countries have formally backed a “strong international response” to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The United States now has the support of 24 countries, not including Israel which has tried to lay low. The list includes an interesting collection of allies, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Italy, Germany, France, Albania, Australia and Denmark.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the horrific chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21st that claimed the lives of so many men, women and children,” the statement says. “The evidence clearly points to the Syrian government being responsible for the attack, which is part of a pattern of chemical weapons use by the regime.”

Milan’s Jews Cut Ties with Muslim Group over Israel Slurs

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

The Milan Jewish community has broken off relations with the Milan Islamic Associations Coordination (CAIM) following verbal attacks on Israel made by the group’s spokesman.

A statement from the Jewish community said it had decided to break ties with CAIM, which links more than 30 Muslim groups in the Milan area, after the association’s spokesman Davide Piccardo was quoted in the media as calling Israel “a state that constantly violates international law and the most elementary human rights, carrying forward a brutal, racist and criminal military occupation.”

The statement said that Piccardo’s declaration “is an inacceptable declaration, not only for the Milan Jewish community but also for all the citizenry of Milan” which has been a sister city of Tel Aviv since 1997.

The Milan Jewish community’s relations “with all the other Islamic associations in the city will continue with the usual serenity,” the statement said. It reiterated that the Milan Jewish community “has always been and always will be close to the legitimate requests of the Milanese residents of Islamic faith regarding the construction of places of worship in Milan. We consider important the enlargement of the perimeter of religious freedoms, which are essential for the strengthening of Italian democracy.”

The rupture with CAIM came in the wake of controversy over the participation over the weekend of Jordanian Imam Riyadh al-Bustanji in ceremonies organized by CAIM in Milan to mark the end of Ramadan. Al-Bustanji, who is close to the terrorist organization Hamas, appeared on a Hamas/Gaza TV interview in June saying that he would bring his daughter to Gaza to learn how to become a martyr for Islam.

Honored ‘Italian Schindler’ Exposed as Nazi Collaborator

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

One of the grossest frauds imaginable has exposed the “Italian Schindler,” Giovanni Palatucci, as a Nazi collaborator who sent Jews to death and did not save them. The Giovanni Palatucci Association defends his glory against “revisionist historians.”

Palatucci was an Italian police official was arrested by the Nazis in 1944 and sentenced to death. Why he was arrested, and what happened before his arrest now is questioned.

After a review of hundreds of documents, the  Centro Primo Levi Italian research center wrote the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington that not only is there no evidence that he helped save Jews from the Holocaust, he also helped the Hitler regime identify Jews and sent them to death camps.

Until now, Palatucci’s image has been built him into a hero who falsified documents and visas of Jews, ostensibly deporting them to death camps but actually sending them to a Catholic bishop, who was his uncle.

After the Nazis occupied Italy in 1943, he supposedly helped Jews avoid the clutches of the Nazis until he was exposed. Supporters of Palatucci as a Righteous Gentile have written that he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp, where he died before the end of World War II in 1945.

The whole story seems to be a myth that was bought by Holocaust Museum in Washington and the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem, which honored him posthumously on 1990 as a Righteous Gentile among the Nations.

The Vatican is considering beautifying him.

The research exposing the fraud leaves open the probability that Palatucci’s family, the Vatican and Italian officials tried to hide his collaboration with the Nazis as part of a guilt complex that required them to cover up complicity with crimes against humanity with an equally gross fiction that Palatucci was a hero.

He supposed saved 5,000 Italian Jews from death in a region where the entire Jewish population was less than 2,500. Pasticcio was supposedly a police chief in the city of Fiume and was said to have saved thousands of the city’s Jews from death by sending them to an internment camp in southern Italy where his uncle was to protect them.

However, Anna Pizzuti, editor of the database of foreign Jewish internees in Italy, told the Corrier Della Sera newspaper, “No more than 40 Fiume residents were interned in Campagna. And a third of these ended up in Auschwitz.”

Another claim of Palatucci’s heroism is that he helped 800 Jewish refugees escape via a Greek ship  to the British Mandate of Palestine.

According to port authority documents, it was the Jewish Agency of Zurich that tried to send the Jews, but Palatucci’s superiors refused the request.

It is not even certain he was a  police chief. Author Marco Coslovich wrote in his book “Giovanni Palatucci: A True Recollection,” that “Palatucci never served as chief of police in Fiume” but was an underling who obeyed commands of his anti-Semitic superiors.

The Italian historian Simon Levis Sullam told the London Independent, “I think Italians have in recent years been overwhelmingly preoccupied with finding and worshipping cases of ‘good’ Italians, instead of dealing with Italian responsibilities during fascism and especially during the Holocaust.”

The Giovanni Palatucci Association claims that  the numerous Jews he saved in Italy were not  natives of the country but were Jewish migrants from Europe.

As for his death in Dachau, Italian documents reveal that the Germans arrested him for treason and embezzlement for helping the British but not with saving Jews.

World Oldest Torah Identified in Italy from 11-12th Century

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

A Torah scroll thought to be the oldest in the world has been identified in the library of the University of Bologna.

The parchment scroll, slightly more than 118 feet long and 25 inches high, previously had been wrongly catalogued when experts estimated its age at about 350 years.

“Instead, ‘Roll 2′ was copied in a period between the second half of the 12th and the early 13th century (1155-1225) and is therefore the most ancient complete Hebrew scroll of the Torah known today,” according to a university statement.

The age of the Torah scroll was authenticated by “the textual, graphic and paleographic examination of the scroll,” as well as by two carbon-14 tests, carried out at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Despite the library’s previous determination that the Torahs scroll was written in the 17th century, Hebrew University Prof. Mauro Perani, who is working on catalogue of Judaica at the Italian university,  noted that the script was in the oriental Babylonian tradition. Furthermore, the Torah script included certain features that did not follow the rules laid down by Maimonides, the Rambam.

“I immediately thought it was much older,” he said, because the Rambam had banned some of its letters and styles in the 12th century.

The Torah scroll had been misdated when it was included in the first catalogue of the library’s Hebrew manuscripts, made in 1889.

It is not known how or when the scroll was acquired by the library, but the university’s statement said it was “very likely” to have been acquired in the 19th century “after Napoleon’s suppression of monastic and religious orders.”

Prof. Perani added, “The scroll is very rare because when manuscripts spoil they lose their holiness and can no longer be used. They are then buried. The state of conservation is excellent.”

Fragments of the Torah have been found from the 7th century, but complete text has been identified as being as old as the on in Italy.

Former Italian Legislator Makes Aliyah

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

The Rome Jewish community leadership gave a rousing send-off to journalist and former Italian parliament member Fiamma Nirenstein ahead of her departure for Israel on aliyah Sunday. She will live in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.

Born in Florence, Nirenstein was elected to Parliament in April 2008 as a member of the center-right People of Freedom ticket headed by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. During her tenure in Parliament, she was outspoken in support of Israel and in combating anti-Semitism.

The Rome Jewish Community board, along with representatives of other Jewish organizations and the Israeli ambassador to Italy, toasted her at a ceremony ahead of Shabbat on Friday.

“Her contribution in the last legislature was decisive, and not to be able to see her sitting in Parliament anymore is, for us, an insurmountable loss,” Rome Jewish community president Riccardo Pacifici said.

Italy’s B’nai B’rith chapter presented her with its silver medal.

“Now I’m making aliyah and even if I have worked as a journalist in Israel for 20 years, this is a different step,” said Nirenstein, who is married to an Israeli.

She announced her intention to make aliyah in January. Earlier this month she told an Israeli newspaper, “At a certain point in the life of every Jew, he must decided if he is choosing Zionism and a connection to Israel as part of his life, and if the answer is yes – then he can’t just settle for statements. If you believe in something, you must also do it.”

Rome Jewish Leader Must Pay Court Fees of Convicted Nazi

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Italian tax collectors have ordered the president of Rome’s Jewish community and a TV reporter to pay the court fees of convicted Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, who lost a lawsuit against them in 1996.

“I won’t pay,” Jewish Community President Riccardo Pacifici told Italian media, but under Italian law, “all parties involved” must pay the fees to register the sentence if the guilty party is judged to have no assets.

Pacifici and TV reporter Walter Vecellio recently received a bill from the state tax collection agency for about $345, according to reports.

Priebke, 99, a former SS captain, is serving a life sentence under house arrest for his role in the 1944 massacre of 335 Romans, including about 75 Jews, in the Ardeatine Caves south of Rome.

His suit against Pacifici and Vecellio stemmed from the clashes that erupted after his initial trial in 1996, the year after he was tracked down in Argentina and extradited to Italy. A Rome military court found him guilty but freed him because of extenuating circumstances.

Scores of protesters, many of them militant young Jews, battled with police and tried to storm the courthouse. After eight hours, Italy’s justice minister ordered Priebke rearrested. He was retried in 1998 and sentenced to life in prison.

Spiegel Bemoaning ‘Germanophobia’

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

It appears that the Germans have been expecting to be forgiven for those memorable years 1933-1945, especially when considering all the goodness and stability Germany has been spreading around the continent. But the continent is refusing to be grateful, and have become quite insolent, in fact. Germany’s push for austerity during the ongoing euro crisis has prompted Nazi depictions of Chancellor Angela Merkel in many parts of Southern Europe and mass demonstrations pushing the same idea, namely that today’s Germany is pursuing the same old targets, using economic means.

This weekend, Spiegel interviewed Brendan Peter Simms, a professor of the History of International Relations in the Center of International Studies at Cambridge University, asking poignantly: “People talk of a Fourth Reich, and the hatred is palpable. Is this just absurd dramatics, or is it a reaction to a true power shift in Germany’s favor?”

Prof. Simms enlightened Spiegel’s editors—and their German readers—on the fact that the “German question” is still very much on everybody’s mind in Europe, despite the German reunification, and perhaps because of it.

“There is no doubt Germanophobia exists,” said Simms. “Look at Greece, at Italy, even Ireland, a country that has never before expressed hostility toward Germany, but which is now full of anger over increasingly painful cuts to its standard of living, an anger that comes from people feeling they have been hung out to dry. Then, of course, there is also anti-German sentiment that stems from World War II, for example in Greece.”

According to Simms, the problem starts with German politicians who tend to emphasize almost exclusively the poor conduct of the countries at the periphery of the EU, insisting that those countries change this conduct as a prerequisite for changing the EU’s political structure.

“By taking this position, they’re failing to recognize that this poor conduct was in part a result of a design flaw in the way the euro was implemented, which led to the countries at Europe’s periphery being flooded with new, cheap money… My fear is that Germany’s policies on this point consist solely of setting the European periphery conditions it can’t fulfill.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/spiegel-bemoaning-germanophobia/2013/04/14/

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