Gazzo: Italian municipalities adopt attacked kibbutzim

A summit between Israel and Italy was scheduled for October in Jerusalem. It would have been the first in ten years and would have been an opportunity to sign new economic, cultural, and scientific agreements between the two countries. “As the Federation of Italy-Israel Associations, we would have discussed these agreements at our national congress in November and worked to promote them. But then October 7th changed everything. The war started and the summit was canceled,” Bruno Gazzo, president of the Federation, explains to Pagine Ebraiche.
At the congress, the topic on the table today is the conflict: from how to express concrete solidarity with Israel to countering the antisemitic prejudice that emerged in pro-Palestinian demonstrations. “The Federation and the individual associations took action immediately to give a signal to Israel. After the Hamas massacres, we asked mayors to fly the Israeli flag or to light up their town halls in a sign of solidarity with the Jewish state. Many have welcomed our input.”
The sensibilization of the municipalities then continued with another request: “Adopt the communities marked by the Hamas massacres, such as kibbutz Be’eri or Nahal Oz.” The project is in an early stage. “Several mayors have accepted our invitation, but they still have to discuss it in council.” The Federation is also working on a fundraising campaign, in collaboration with the Keren Hayesod, to be used to help the affected communities. “We will then give all the details,” Gazzo says.
In the meantime, each association has “committed to countering and denouncing the events organized in favor of Hamas. We also printed leaflets with the faces of the kidnapped people, attaching them in different cities to raise public awareness.” An effort that the Federation would like to link, in the long term, to the celebrations of the Day of Remembrance.
“For next January 27, we ask that the survivors of the Hamas massacres be invited to speak in Italy, creating spaces for in-depth discussion to listen to their testimonies and explain the antisemitism of Islamist terrorism.” For Gazzo, it is necessary “to connect the history of today with the memory of yesterday.”
UCEI President Noemi Di Segni brought the Union’s greetings to the Federation’s congress: “You are in these weeks the most important subjects on which Israel can count, besides itself.”