By Adam Smulevich
“I ordered his immediate expulsion due to a serious disturbance of public order, danger to national security and religious discrimination”, said Angelino Alfano, the Italian Minister of Interior.
Alfano reacted firmly after seeing the footage on the internet of a clearly anti-Semitic sermon delivered by the Imam of San Donà di Piave, an Italian town located a little over 30 kilometers from Venice.
“Oh Allah, count them (i.e. the Jews) one by one and kill them to the very last one”, the Moroccan citizen Raoudi Albdelbar said in front of many dozens of people during the Friday prayer. He also called Allah to “turn their food to poison and make the air they breathe blazing hot”.
“Delivering a sermon that is clearly anti-Semitic in character, explicitly inciting to violence and religious hatred, is completely unacceptable. I hope my decision will be a warning to all preachers of hate who intend to work in our country” underlined Alfano.
The decision to expel Albdelbar was greeted by the Italian Jewish Community.
“I would like to extend to the minister, the gratitude of all the Italian Jews”, said the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Renzo Gattegna. His rapid intervention is the clear response of a country which rejects any form of hatred, violence and intimidation”.
Gattegna and Alfano had met few days earlier in Viminale, the headquarters of the Interior Ministry to discuss the current rise of anti-Semitism in the country and the solutions to adopt in order to guarantee the security of Italian Jewish Communities.
In the past few weeks, a number of anti-Semitic episodes have taken place in Italy, especially in Rome: the latest being flyers calling for a boycott of Israel and of stores owned by Jews which were posted on the walls of several neighborhoods in the Italian capital.