NEWS Annual Report on Anti-Semitism in Italy Unveiled

cdecBy Daniel Reichel

The Milan-based Foundation for the Center of Jewish Contemporary Documentation (CDEC) published its Annual Report on anti-Semitism in Italy last week.

The Report was presented in collaboration with the Municipality of Milan by Betti Guetta, the CDEC researcher responsible for monitoring anti-Semitism.

“What is worrying about the Italian situation is primarily the editorial operations that foment anti-Semitic rhetoric and the use of anti-Judaic language in the public debate,” said the CDEC director Gadi Luzzatto Voghera.

The conference was attended by the President of the Municipal Council Lamberto Bertole, the Vice-President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) Giorgio Mortara, the President of the CDEC Foundation Giorgio Sacerdoti and the city board member Diana De Marchi.

“In June,” explains the document authored by Guetta together with Stefano Gatti, “we have witnessed an indecent marketing campaign when newspaper Il Giornale attached Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf to each copy. The text, an anastatic reprint of a Bompiani edition of the 1930s, contained a brief introduction of the historian Francesco Perfetti, and was distributed for free to readers of the newspaper. This is dangerous operation for one of the books at the heart of contemporary anti-Semitism. This was done without a true critical analysis.”

“Aside from the denial and the distortion of the memory of the Shoah, there are still political movements that foment anti-Semitic hatred and speak about alleged ‘Jewish lobbies’ that supposedly rule the world.” UCEI President Noemi Di Segni stressed this in her message to the conference (it was read out aloud by Mortara): in the report there are statements relating to the Five Star Movement (Cinque Stelle) but also to other parties, especially the populist right which uses this dangerous rhetoric.