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Italian Premier Explains His Anti-jewish Remarks; Says He is Friendly to Jews

Premier de Gasperi today assured Dr. Rafael Cantoni, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Italy, that he is “friendly to all Jewish problems” and that there is no ground to consider him as unfriendly to Jews.

The statement was made in view of the concern expressed in Jewish circles over the Premier’s remarks during an election speech in Florence, in which he denounced “persons professing other religions, particularly the Israelites who insist on preaching to us the true meaning of Christian gespel.” The Premier also had said during his Florence speech: “We Christians never dreamt of interpreting Jewish law in its relation to the political and social attitudes of these professing the Jewish faith.”

In his statement to Mr. Cantoni, Premier de Gaspori emphasized that his remarks in Florence were addressed “only to Jewish members of Parliament who are the opposition (Independent Republicans and Communists)” who tried to prove that the policy of the Christian Democrats was in contradiction to the Gospel.