By Daniela Gross
“Boycott the Jewish merchants of Rome”. This invitation appeared in some areas of the city on a series of posters pinned on the walls of buildings. The billboard, completely illegal and signed by a group of extreme right, invited to help the Palestinian people boycotting every kind of product from Israel and every Jewish shopkeeper. To better orient the reader, a list of almost 50 shops was provided: an enumeration that recalls those horrible lists of proscription compiled during the fascist and Nazi persecutions.
The posters, quickly removed by the municipality, aroused a big concern within the Italian Jewry as a further and worrying signal of the upright wave of the Anti-Semitism triggered in Europe by the Middle East conflict. And the concern was particularly hard among the Jewish Community of Rome, that during the Second World War was victim of awful deportations and that, from centuries, counts the commerce among the traditional activities of its own members.
The mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino expressed solidarity to the Italian Jews. “The capital of Italy, gold medal of the Resistance, aligns with the merchants targeted. Rome considers these gestures made by empty heads an unacceptable insult to the dignity and values of all Romans. The authors of these serious acts must be identified, arrested and severely condemned”.
“The lists of proscription appeared on the walls of Rome to invite the citizens to boycott stores operated by Jewish traders are a new alarm bell that can not be ignored – said the President of the Italian Jewish Communities Renzo Gattegna – We are actually witnessing with concern the connection of symbols of extremist undergrowth in the name of a common hatred anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli. Their more violent mode of expression, still partially hidden, are at risk to constitute a danger to the entire national collectivity”.