DIALOGUE “United Against Extremism”

gattegnaBy Adam Smulevich
“Jews and Muslims have to walk alongside and contribute together to the progress of Italian society. It is an urgent commitment: to work together for a genuine brotherhood that could be closely connected to other successful experiences in the country. A goal we can reach only fighting against extremism, hate speeches, and the desire to build insurmountable walls of communication”.
In the message issued at the end of Ramadan, the President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities Renzo Gattegna has reaffirmed the importance of interreligious dialogue, based on mutual recognition and inspired by common values, a goal which has become even more essential considering the huge crisis of the entire Middle East.

Gattegna expressed this concept also on many Italian national media and he confirmed it during an interview at the Radio Vaticana, the official radio of the Holy See. Interviewed by Fabio Colagrande, Gattegna underlined: “We are working with some groups of Muslims living in Italy to marginalize fundamentalists. It’s not a simple job but we are working on it together”.

In the same days, new episodes of anti-Semitism have been taking place in Italy, mainly in Rome, where Nazi symbols and delirious words concerning Israeli operations in Gaza have appeared on the walls of several neighborhoods.
“It’s an act that reveals the inextricable relationship between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, which threatens not only Jews, but the entire city of Rome. All citizens who care about the values of the Constitution of the Republic – Gattegna said – recognize themselves in words of outrage expressed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi”.