Holocaust Remembrance Day; a new opportunity for anti-Semites to rear their ugly heads
13 February 2012

Il Giornale, January 27 2012

A person who hates the Jews for ideological and political reasons, who demonizes Israel and who is applauded by the mediocre cultural world.

Whatever is written or said today on Remembrance Day will not put an end to anti-Semitism. By now, it’s difficult to believe in the power of remembrance. This day has become like a mild tranquillizer; it may briefly soothe the European conscience that barely tolerates the crime of the Shoah. It will be used to temporarily unify politicians and intellectuals from different parties who will feel they’re working to contrast anti-Semitism, the inescapable driver of any persecution. And yet by now, even those gathered to remember their beloved ones who died in the Shoah and even their sponsors know that anti-Semitism is eternal as is God, as stated by the Yiddish writer L. Shapiro. Robert Wistrich, the most renowned expert of anti-Semitism claims that “it is probably increasing.” It is clear from the data from all over the world, it is the unregulated, exchanged and booming currency. In the Arab world it's a must. In the Italian Parliament, Elie Wiesel whispered he had hoped that anti-Semitism would have ended once and for all after World War II. Now, he said that genocidal anti-Semitism is again in vogue. Though not genocidal, 44% of the Italian people have no sympathy for the Jews, according the Italian Parliamentary Commission on Anti-Semitism. The facts and the figures are readily available on the Italian Parliamentary website.

Let me say that, on this day, it’s hard to be the object of anti-Semitism. It's impossible to imagine it has been never experienced. What is going on today forces us to realize with the permanence and inevitability of history. Giuseppe Caldarola, a prominent Italian journalist, stated that cartoon caricaturizing me was anti-Semitic. Sadly, an Italian Court fined him 25,000 Euros to Vauro, who drew that cartoon. Caldarola was right. Just look at the horrible caricature of me published during the election campaign by a leftist newspaper Manifesto, The fine demonstrates that the Judge did not allow Cardarola to express his opinion. According to the judge's decision, Vauro, a left-wing cartoonist, is not anti-Semitic and must be compensated for libel. It’s a shame that somebody justified the cartoon and hence the decision against Caldarola. This all happened because I defended Israel, and I often do so in Parliament. Nowadays, anti-Semitism is mostly hatred of Israel. My intellectual ambition is that the anti-Semites at least acknowledge they are.

We have been deceived: Zionism was born as one of the many national movements of the 19th century. Its goal was to make the Jewish people a normal people. As such, the anti-Semite should have then had no more reason persecute the Jews once they all lived in their ancient homeland. Unfortunately, things did not turn out as they intended. The Arab League and the United Nations have done their utmost to nullify this attempt at normalization, and have made the Jewish nation a outcast.

This is the source of today's political and ideological anti-Semitism. It follows centuries of religious anti-Semitism, of "scientific" anti-Semitism of the Enlightment, and Nazi racial anti-Semitism. But shortly after the UN voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, the Arab countries attacked Israel. The U.N. did nothing to stop the violation of its resolution, and everyone again blamed the Jews.

This double standard - one set of rules for the Jews and another for everyone else - has become testing grounds of anti-Semitism. As a candidate of a party he did not like, Vauro depicted me as a horrible Jewish monster, with a hooked nose, a Star of David and the symbol of Italian fascism. As far as I know, nothing of this kind has ever happened to any other candidate. It happened to me because I’m Jewish. In 1982, at the time of Sabra and Chatila, 800 Palestinians were unfortunately killed by the Christian Maronites. The IDF was unjustly accused of the killings because it was in the area, even though it had nothing to do with the killings. During that same year, the Syrian leader Hafez Assad didn’t receive any criticism for having slaughtered tens of thousands of his citizens in Hama.

Double standards and demonization are the basis for understanding modern anti-Semitism. Giuseppe Caldarola denounced it; an Italian court ordered to pay Vauro, the cartoon's author, 25 thousand Euros in compensation. Reading the comments on Cadarola's blog will allow readers to have detailed information on my nose - which incidentally is not hooked - and see the Star of David sewn on my dress according to the Nazi laws. Most of the comments on the blog were completely anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli.

Unfortunately, some of the most vicious articles written about me were written by Jews, and mostly dealt with the fact that I am pro-Israeli. Christianity allowed for conversion, the Enlightment gave freedom to individual Jews but not to the Jews as a people. The fascists and the Nazis killed the Jews for racial reasons. The communists persecuted them because they were "cosmopolitan". Now, if you tell the truth about Israel, if you love it, you acquire hooked-nose and the Star of David sewn on your chest.