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Europeans,"Jewish lobby" is a beautiful expression
12 March 2012

Shalom, March 2012


Back from the big AIPAC American conference, along with the jetlag, I felt two kind of sensations, one more personal, and the other political. The first one concerns the magnificence of the American Jewish Community and the power of the word lobby. In Italy it is almost a rude expression: the Jewish lobby?! If someone ever dares to say such a expression, if he suggests that there could be some Jewish interests to be defended at the national community level, or if he whispers that Jews strong defend Israel and request from the politician they elect to do the same. it is a moral and civil scandal.

The real scandal is that Italian and European Jews do not openly pronounce this word: actually they are not able to organize themselves or to rise in a wave of unquestioned enthusiasm, of unquestionable support, convinced of Israel's indispensability, on the right and on the left wing. They are unable to clamour, with determination and persistence, for every politician to pledge himself to the survival of Israel praising without any hesitation, its democracy, supporting its right of self-defence, always challenged by an indecent de-legitimization campaign.

It is true, we are few, the American Jews are many, they are strong, they are very relevant in all the fields of the economic and intellectual life of their country. In a word, they can rightly be self-confident. They have no problem to adorn a hall collecting 13 thousand people with the intertwined colours of the American and Israeli flags; they have no problem to make it resound with hymns and songs of the two countries together.

And when, and here I come to the second point, they clamour for the USA to be the Israeli bastion of defence against the Iranian aggression atomic bomb, they do it with the conviction that there should not be any gap between the right and the left wing: so that, while the Jewish left wing appeal to Obama, and the right wing calls its candidates Romney and Santorum, the call is intertwined and it is added. The goal is just one: that the leaders, the responsible people, the bosses, Obama, understand that defending Israel it is a primary moral and civil responsibility for all the American citizens, and for America itself. Our European distance from this attitude is huge; the Jewish leaders do not explicitly call the Italian and European leaders to make the Israeli defence an explicit issue in theirs electoral campaign, in their civil commitment, a condition for the Jewish political consensus.

We European Jews are uncertain and fragile, and this makes us a poor prey to the politicians' wavering availability. " Lobby" continues to be a rude word, the solidarity among us about Israel is not an indispensable prerequisite but a temporary conquest. The rule is antagonism, political fight, and substantial indifference to the attitude of the politicians toward Israel.

The thousand detailed and deep analyses developed in Washington in three nonstop working days mark again a huge gap between our effort of awakening the Italian and European policy and the American Jews' work. We are often infected by caution. It is forbidden for a European to mention the possibility of using violence or to go to war. Iran has pursued the atomic choice for fifteen years, with the declared intention of attacking Israel and the whole western world. It never gave in to pressures, demands, sanctions. but we pretend negotiation is still valid. We do not know if Obama will ever be faithful to the statement that he has given at the AIPAC conference: that it is anyway forbidden to let Iran getting the atomic bomb and that any mean must be used to avoid this. Probably he won't. But the American Jews anyhow obliged him to say that. And this is because, whatever the differences are, they at least proclaim all together what we, the European Jews, do not have the courage to pursue: never again.