“Never Indifferent”, an Appeal for Peace: Saying No to Netanyahu’s War Is Not Anti-Semitic.

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The following is an open letter of appeal that was published on February 10 in Corriere della Sera by a group of 54 Italian Jews.

We are a group of Italian Jews who, after the anniversary of Day of Remembrance and living through the time of war in the Middle East, came together and shared various feelings: anguish, discomfort, desperation, and a sense of isolation. On October 7, not only Israelis but also those of us who live here were shocked by the Hamas terrorist attack and felt pain, anger and shock. And the response of the Israeli government has also shocked us: Netanyahu, in order to remain in power, began a military action that has already killed over 28,000 Palestinians and many Israeli soldiers, while to date he has no plan to exit the war and the fate of most of the hostages is still uncertain. Unfortunately, it seems that a part of the Israeli population and many diaspora Jews are unable to grasp the dramatic nature of the present situation and its consequences for the future. The massacres of civilians perpetrated in Gaza by the Israeli army are certainly war crimes: they are unacceptable and horrify us.

We can reason for hours about the meaning of the word “genocide”, but it doesn’t seem like this debate will help stop the ongoing massacre and the suffering of all the victims, including the hostages and their families. Many of us have had the opportunity to listen to critical and alarmed voices coming from Israel: they tell us that the country is going through a sort of war between tribes – ultra-Orthodox Jews, secularists, settlers – in which everyone pursues their own interests without any shared project idea.

What happens in Israel concerns us personally, due to the presence of relatives or friends, due to the historical significance of the State of Israel born after the Holocaust, and for many other reasons. This is why we do not want to remain silent. We had a very difficult time facing the Day of Remembrance that has just passed. We cannot share the way in which it is observed if it is reduced to a ritual and empty celebration. Recognizing the uniqueness of the Shoah, we consider it important to restore to January 27th the sense and significance with which it was established in 2000, that is, a day dedicated to the opportunity and importance of reflecting on what has been and which therefore should not be repeated again, and not only towards the Jewish people.

January 27, 2024 was a particularly difficult and painful anniversary to face: what use is memory today if it doesn’t help stop the production of death in Gaza and the West Bank? If and when it fuels a narrative of victimization that is used to legitimize and normalize crimes? We are well aware that there is unprocessed anti-Semitism in our country and in the world – we have felt the atmosphere and the scent of it in recent months, especially since October 7, when we saw relationships, even personal ones, with part of the left deteriorate. But it seems urgent to us to break a vicious circle: having suffered a genocide does not provide any inoculation that can free us from feelings of indifference towards the pain of others, of dehumanization and violence against the weakest.

To combat the growing anti-Jewish hatred at this precise moment, we think that the only possibility is to try to question ourselves deeply in order to open a peace dialogue by building bridges, even between positions that seem distant. We do not agree with the statement that the Union of Italian Jewish Communities released for January 27, which underlines how any criticism of Israel’s policies falls under the definition of anti-Semitism. We know well what anti-Semitism is and we do not tolerate its instrumental use. We want to preserve our humanity and the universalism that coexists with our being Jewish. In this moment, when everything is difficult, we stand close to those who suffer, trying to think and feel together.

Signatories (to join the list please write to maiindifferenti6@gmail.com)

Fabrizio Albert

Rachele Alberti

Marina Ascoli

Massimo Attias

David Calef

Valeria Camerino

Giorgio Canarutto

Lucio Damascelli

Beppe Damascelli

Enrico De Vito

Annapaola Formiggini

Saby Fresko

Paola Fresko

Bice Fubini

Nicoletta Gandus

Adriana Giussani

Bella Gubbay

Joan Haim

Cecilia Herskovitz

Francesca Incardona

Stefano Levi Della Torre

Annie Lerner

Gad Lerner

Stefano Liebman

Samuele Menasce

Raffaella Molena Tassetto 

Bruno Montesano

Guido Ortona

Bice Parodi

Laura Pesaro

Simone Rossi del Monte

Renata Sarfati

Stefano Sarfati

Eva Schwarzwald

Gavriel Segre

Simona Sermoneta

Shmuel Sermoneta Gertel

Susanna Sinigaglia

Sergio Sinigaglia

Stefania Sinigaglia

Deborah Taub

Jardena Tedeschi

Mario Tedeschi

Massimo Gentili Tedeschi

Sara Tedeschi Falco

Fabrizia Termini

Alessandro Treves

Claudio Treves

Roberto Veneziani

Serena Veneziani

Marco Weiss

Translation by Paul Rosenberg

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“Never Indifferent”, an Appeal for Peace: Saying No to Netanyahu’s War Is Not Anti-Semitic. ultima modifica: 2024-02-14T12:47:25+01:00 da YTALI
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