On April 25, 2016, Italy celebrated the 71th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. In different cities, rallies commemorating the Liberation of the country from the Fascists and the Nazis were organized as usual.
In Milan, the Jewish Community participated in the main rally, remembering the contribution of the Jewish Brigade. The Jewish Brigade was a military faction of the British Army that employed Jewish volunteers from the British Mandate of Palestine and played a key role in the liberation of some Italian regions. As it happened in the past, a small group of demonstrators protested against the presence of the Jewish Brigade’s flags, shouting slogans against Israel and in support of the Palestinians. “They were a small group of ignorant people who don’t know history,” commented the vice-president of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities Roberto Jarach during the rally.
In Rome, instead, the Jewish Community decided not to participate in the main rally due to the hate messages and provocations of pro-Palestinian groups. The Community celebrated the anniversary with a gathering in front of the Museum of the Resistance in Via Tasso, one of the symbols of the fight against fascism in Rome. The former President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, also visited the museum. “This rally is a new beginning,” said Ruth Dureghello, president of the Jewish Community of Rome, speaking about the decision to skip the main demonstration.