Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning met with Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini in Jerusalem and told him, “You have a commander in UNIFIL, an Italian commander. We think UNIFIL has to do a stronger job, a tougher job, but ultimately it’s the responsibility of the international community. They should stop Hezbollah from taking these acts of aggression against Israel.”
Salvini, nicknamed Il Capitano (The Captain) by his fans, began his stint in government with an attack on Tunisia, which he claimed is sending only convicts to Italy, whose only goal is to commit crimes in Europe. He also blocked the entry of a ship with 600 asylum seekers, and later declared: “These people should know that Italy no longer wants to have any part of this business of clandestine immigration and they will have to look for other ports to go to.”
Israel, on the other hand, is one of Salvini’s most favorite nations. On his visit up north this week, he called Hezbollah “Islamic terrorists,” which earned him the rebuke of Italy’s defense minister.
He also called Israel “a safe haven for European and Western values in the region,” and accused the EU of an anti-Israel bias.
He also told AFP: “Whoever wants peace supports Israel.”