The head of Rome’s Jewish community and leaders of a far-right party traded barbs ahead of a runoff vote for mayor.
Gianni Alemanno of the rightist National Alliance Party faces center-left candidate Francesco Rutelli in the election on Sunday and Monday.
Jewish community president Riccardo Pacifici had threatened a Jewish sit-in protest if Alemanno officially allied himself with the small, far-right La Destra party. Alemanno refused a formal alliance with La Destra.
But on Wednesday, La Destra leader Francesco Storace announced his party’s backing of Alemanno.
At a news conference, Storace demanded an apology from the Jewish community for what he termed its “shameful campaign” against La Destra and rebuffed accusations of anti-Semitism.
Pacifici, from Israel, rejected Storace’s demand, saying that any apologies should come from La Destra, which has links to fascism.