Anti-Semitism. The PD Must Raise its Voice


Versione Italiana

I have never in my life been so afraid to be Jewish

This is what LA7 journalist David Parenzo had to say after the threats he received right under the editorial office of the television station where he works [cover image]. These threats forced his two children to remove the insignia of the Jewish school they attend from their jackets. But beyond that are the violent protest against the Jewish Brigade during the demonstration in Milan on April 25, and the pressing demands, fortunately rejected, made of some Italian universities to interrupt their relations with Israeli universities. Consider that the university itself is secular and its mission is to guarantee dialogue. There was also the attempt to protest the presentation at the Odeon in Florence of Elisabetta Fiorito’s book Golda, the story of a Labor woman who, it is worth remembering, founded Israel.

I am honestly worried, very worried about what is happening and which, unfortunately, has anti-Semitic connotations. Some claim that “we can’t stop it anymore, the downhill road has been marked”. I don’t think so, and I don’t want to dramatize. I believe that democracy has the necessary antibodies to prevent the situation from degenerating, but at the same time, I believe that a strong stance is needed from the democratic parties, first and foremost from the PD, which seems to me to be underestimating the situation. I believe that this should be done in particular by the component that comes from the PCI/PDS/DS which, after a propensity towards being pro-Arab, seems to have changed course in favor of Israel thanks to Giorgio Napolitano and Piero Fassino.

Many years ago, I spent a period of time in a PLO camp in Beirut, an unforgettable experience. One night I visited another true refugee camp, seeing all the tragedies of those people with my own eyes. I still have the keffiyeh (which I never actually wore) which was given to me by Yasser Arafat himself on that occasion, so I don’t think I can be accused of being against the Palestinians, and I will defend their right to have a homeland within the logic of two peoples, two states. At the time I believe I developed a conviction: in addition to the Israelis’ mistrust of the idea, the Arab states didn’t want a Palestinian state either, because it would have been a thorn in their side to have a state with a secular, cultured population on their borders, a culture that is the result of the diaspora that has scattered young Palestinians all over the world, allowing them to attend the best schools and universities.

Those Palestinians, and that organization of theirs, with all of its limitations and defects, have nothing to do with Hamas. Hamas is an organization that is holding the population of Gaza hostage, and has enshrined in its “charter”, in black and white, the destruction of the State of Israel. It has used the large sums of money it has received from the international community certainly not to give the population of that strip of land better lives, but rather to buy weapons and build its many expensive tunnels. Hamas is the organization that carried out a scientific massacre on October 7, killing women, men and children, raping women, and kidnapping – in a terrorist plan much closer to the work of ISIS – men, women and children, a good many of whom we don’t know what end they met. More than two hundred days have passed while those people remain in the hands of Hamas in conditions that we cannot know but are certainly dramatic. A surprise attack – is the Mossad that used to be no more? – with a specific political purpose: to send a message to the Arab countries ready for peace with Israel, thus blocking the Abraham Accords, which would have changed the political landscape of that area. This attempt was not fully successful, given that those countries intend to keep working towards normalization of relations with Israel, albeit with different strategies.

Of course, what has been happening in Gaza after the Israeli military intervention should not be underestimated. Benjamin Netanyahu is risking his political future. At the end of the war, which I hope is very soon, there will certainly be elections, because that country is one of the few in that area where free elections take place, and Netanyahu will almost certainly lose, together with the far-right coalition that supports him. I hope that the ongoing negotiations for a ceasefire and the release of the hostages will produce a good outcome, even if I say this with a dose of skepticism, because the subjects involved are unpredictable, both the leaders of Hamas and the Israeli leader, whose behavior has repeatedly upset the President of the United States – a country historically allied with Israel – Joe Biden, who has never hidden his opposition to the policy being pursued by Netanyahu.

One last consideration, particularly bitter. I certainly don’t want to demonize the young people who are demonstrating to show their solidarity with the Palestinians; on the contrary, I think that young people and students must mobilize even more so as not to leave the field to extremist and violent minorities. Having said this, I believe that the mobilization cannot be one-way. In the demonstrations and, unfortunately, also on the talk shows, what happened on October 7th has been practically forgotten. In short, the gravity of Hamas’ attack is not emphasized, but rather completely bypassed and not condemned as a genuine act of terrorism against the inhabitants of the kibbutzim on the borders of the Gaza Strip and the many young people who were taking part in a party. Likewise, they should make their voices heard about what is happening in Iran, where a few days ago the rapper Tomaj was sentenced to death just because in his songs he supported the movement of young Iranian women against the regime.

In short, don’t fall into anti-Semitism, and understand how to distinguish a people from those who govern them. I am convinced that only the political defeat of Hamas and its allies, the electoral defeat of Netanyahu and an agreement with the moderate Arab countries can give security to Israel, and to the Palestinians, from the perspective of two peoples, two states.

Translation by Paul Rosenberg

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Anti-Semitism. The PD Must Raise its Voice ultima modifica: 2024-05-01T18:40:02+02:00 da PIGI DE LAURO
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