The state of Israel was chosen among the countries portrayed in the Italian TV show, “L’Erba dei Vicini,” which is broadcast in prime time on the Channel 3 on Italian public TV (Rai).
Each episode of the show, anchored by Corriere della Sera and New York Times journalist Beppe Severgnini, compares Italy with another country, and during the second season, the show has been featuring Russia, Greece, Holland, Israel, Turkey and China.
Among the topics covered during the episode was a focus on Israel last Thursday were start-ups, being 21 years old in the two countries and the relationship between religion and state. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the focus of a segment which saw as guests the prominent Italian-Israeli demographer Sergio Della Pergola and journalist Paola Caridi, who has written a book on Hamas.
However, the last segment of the show sparked outrage and criticism over the interview with a notorious Italian Jewish comedian who presents himself as an expert on the Middle East, without any appropriate background or knowledge, as reported on Pagine Ebraiche 24 last Friday. He expressed his support for the BDS and declared that Israel practices “apartheid,” while admitting that he has hardly ever visited the country.
“Talking about Israel is a complex challenge for Italian media. For this reason, it is crucial that those who work in this field, especially when it comes to the public broadcasting company, pay the highest attention to the choice of topics and guests,” commented the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Renzo Gattegna, reminding everyone of how irresponsible choices affect an audience of millions of people.