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Chief Rabbi Toaff of Rome Threatened

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Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff of Rome received an anonymous threat this week, Jewish circles revealed today. The threat, which arrived in the mail, was in German, signed “Aryan Defense” and included a drawing of a swastika. The note warned the Italian-born Chief Rabbi to “return immediately to your filthy fatherland”–presumably Israel–because “tomorrow may be too late.” Rabbi Toaff, 57, has been Rome’s Chief Rabbi since 1951.

Jewish circles said the threat was part of a mounting nationwide anti-Semitic campaign conducted by Fascist and neo-Nazi circles throughout Italy. They said similar threats and anti-Semitic propaganda have been received by other Jewish community leaders in recent weeks. The circles warned the threats should not be dismissed lightly as they seem to be part of a precise plan to influence Italian political opinion.

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