Italian President Mattarella: October 7 attack “a gruesome replica of the horrors of the Shoah”

Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella denounced rising antisemitism and delivered a powerful speech in support of the Jewish people as he commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day. In a ceremony at the Quirinale Palace attended by Italy’s PM Giorgia Meloni and the leaders of the country’s Jewish community, he raised the alarm about the risks of hatred. “Sometimes, the history wheel seems to lose its way, taking humanity back to times and seasons we have never thought of living again,” he said.
Hateful slogans and acts of terror “seem again to fascinate and attract, not just on our continent,” he remarked. The return of antisemitism “has recently expressed itself in the unspeakable and cruel antisemitic massacre of innocents, which on October 7 did not spare teenagers, children, or infants.” The attacks by Hamas against Israel were “a gruesome replica of the horrors of the Shoah,” said Mattarella, explaining that he looks at Israel as a country “close to us and a full friend, today and in the future, for sharing history and values” and that he feels “day by day the anguish for the hostages in the cruel hands of Hamas” as well as for “the numerous victims among civilians in the Gaza Strip.”
“How does one live the 27th of January after the 7th of October?” asked the President of the Italian Jewish Communities Noemi Di Segni. “What kind of memory is it if, 80 years after the deportations, we hear people say that Hitler and Mussolini were right after all? If there are universities that decide to boycott Israeli research and expel Jews from their campuses? If Israel and the Jews, those survivors to whom was swore ‘never again,’ are called genocidal Nazis, and the executioners become martyrs fighting for liberation, quoting Primo Levi? How do we celebrate the Day of Remembrance today if we hear people say that the concentration camps are in the Middle East and the gas is that of Jewish culture?”.
According to Di Segni, the memory of the Holocaust “risks to be emptied, relieving Western consciences of their responsibilities, and reviving ancient prejudices by whispering ‘never again’ only to the six million victims, failing to recognize it as a right for the living.” We must therefore clarify that “the images of Holocaust Remembrance Day are solely and exclusively those of the Shoah. The events of October 7 and their aftermath “are a subterranean tunnel that if we fail to remain vigilant will lead us to Auschwitz.”