(JTA) – Italy awarded Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, its highest decoration given to a non-Italian.
Kantor was honored earlier this week with the Knight’s Grand Cross of the Order of Merit “for his work in promoting tolerance and reconciliation, human rights and interfaith dialogue, and his struggle against anti-Semitism and racism,” the European Jewish Congress said in a statement Wednesday.
Kantor was in Rome as part of the World Jewish Congress steering committee, which met with Italy’s foreign minister, Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, on Monday.
Headed by WJC President Ronald Lauder, the committee also included Latin American Jewish Congress President Jack Terpins and Euro-Asian Jewish Congress President Vadim Shulman, as well as the president of Italy’s umbrella Jewish group.
The European Jewish Congress statement said that during the meeting, Kantor “asked for Italy’s help in adding Hezbollah to the European Union list of proscribed terrorist groups in the wake of the evidence demonstrating that the Lebanese-based terrorist group was behind the murder of Israeli tourists in Burgas last year.”
It said that Sant’Agata had reiterated the importance of Italy’s relationship with Israel and the Jewish community.