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Lauder rips fine for Italian parliamentarian who blasted anti-Jewish cartoon

ROME (JTA) – Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, has expressed “outrage” that an Italian parliament deputy and journalist was fined for writing an article sharply criticizing a satirical cartoon that featured stereotypically Jewish depictions of a parliament colleague.

Giuseppe Caldarola was fined 25,000 euro — nearly $33,000 — by an Italian judge for the article, which ripped the 2008 cartoon by Vauro Senesi appearing in the left-wing newspaper Manifesto. The cartoon, titled “Fiamma Frankenstein,” showed Jewish parliament member Fiamma Nirenstein with an exaggerated hooked nose, and contained the symbol of fascist Italy and the star of David.

Lauder called the ruling “a travesty and an insult.”

Vauro, whose cartoon had triggered anger and protest when it was published, was acquitted by the same court on anti-Semitism charges.

In a blog post Caldarola, who belongs to the center-left politically, said his article criticizing the cartoon had “been ironic about the radical left and used a phrase critical of Vauro’s cartoon, saying that it was as if he had written ‘dirty Jew.’ ”
Nirenstein belongs politically to the center-right.

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