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Flyers in Rome call for boycotting Jewish-owned stores

(JTA) – A new wave of anti-Jewish signposting in Rome is “an alarm bell that cannot be ignored,” a top Italian Jewish leader warned.

Renzo Gattegna, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, suggested that the signs appeared to link far-left and far-right factions.

Gattegna issued the warning after flyers urging a boycott of Jewish-owned stores in the capital were discovered plastered to walls in several districts of Rome on Saturday.

The flyers were signed by an extreme-right group, Vita Est Militia, but its pro-Palestinian text echoed slogans of the far left.

“We are witnessing with concern the solidifying of the extremist underworld in the name of a common anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hatred whose most violent mode of expressions, still partially latent, risks forming a danger to the entire national collective,” Gattegna said.

The flyers said “boycotting any type of Jewish product or business is fundamental to stop the massacre in Palestine,” claiming that “every shop, factory and business under Jewish ownerships sends a percentage of its profits to Israel to furnish weapons and continue to kill those who have a right to live in their own homeland.”

The flyers listed by name more than 40 clothing stores, butcher shops, restaurants, bars and hotels they said were owned by Jews.

Since the fighting broke out last month between Israel and Hamas, there have been several instances of anti-Jewish graffiti in Rome and elsewhere in Italy. Last week, for example, unknown vandals scrawled “Judey pigs we will kill you a lot” in ungrammatical English on the wall of the synagogue in the northeast town of Gorizia.

In all the incidents, Italian authorities sharply condemned the vandalism, removed the graffiti and ordered police investigations. News reports said three extreme right-wing activists are under investigation for scrawling anti-Semitic graffiti in Rome at the end of July.

In his statement, Gattegna thanked the authorities for the “firmness” of their response.

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