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  • Italian Ceremony Marks Racial Laws

    Italians and the Catholic Church, not only fascism, bear responsibility for Jewish persecution during World War II, Italy’s leading right-wing politician said. Gianfranco Fini, the president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, made his remarks Tuesday at a ceremony in Parliament marking the 70th anniversary of the imposition of anti-Semitic Racial Laws, imposed by the… More ▸

  • Italian Court Rejects Lawsuit by Nazi War Criminal Priebke

    An Argentine researcher and journalist said he feels “a strong sense of relief” after a three-year battle in Italian courts ended with a Nazi war criminal’s lawsuit against him being thrown out. Uki Goni was referring to a Milan court’s March 23 decision to reject a claim by convicted Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, who… More ▸

  • Book Reviving Blood Libel Charge Has Italian Jews Livid, People Reading

    A just-published book by an eminent Italian-Israeli historian that revives European blood libels has Jews in Italy and abroad in an uproar. But the furor hasn’t hurt sales. “Bloody Passover: European Jews and Ritual Murder” sold out so quickly after its arrival in bookstores Feb. 8 that another edition is on its way. Ariel Toaff,… More ▸

  • Obituary Iconic Italian Journalist Fallaci Fought Fascism and Anti-semitism

    The crusading Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci spent the last years of her life issuing fiery warnings against a Muslim world that she saw poised to overrun the West. Critics accused Fallaci of sowing racial and religious hatred, but she became a heroine to many Jews and Israelis for her vocal defense of Israel and denunciations… More ▸

  • Berlusconi, Friend of Israel and U.s., Narrowly Loses Italian Election

    Over the past five years, the center-right Italian government headed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi emerged as one of Washington’s staunchest allies — and one of Israel’s strongest supporters in Europe. Now, however, Berlusconi’s loss in national elections to Romano Prodi– whose center-left coalition includes some far-left parties that are strongly pro-Palestinian — will mean… More ▸

  • Federal Judge Tosses Survivor Cases Seeking Payment from Italian Insurer

    After nearly 60 years of petitions and a decade of litigation, many survivors and their descendants seeking to collect on Holocaust-era life insurance policies have had their hopes dashed. Last week, a New York federal judge threw out the cases against Assicurazoni Generali, one of Europe’s largest insurers. In their lawsuits against Generali, plaintiffs in… More ▸

  • Backgrounder Unknown Immigration from Libya Has Swelled Ranks of Italian Jewry

    One year ago, Rina Debach landed at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport after a flight across the Mediterranean from the Libyan capital of Tripoli. On the plane traveling with her were two officials from the Libyan Foreign Ministry. In the arrivals hall to greet Debach were the Italian consul general in Tripoli, and family members who had… More ▸

  • After Years of Effort, Italian Rightist Granted Legitimacy of an Israel Visit

    An official visit to Israel later this month caps nearly a decade of effort by Italy’s deputy prime minister to shed the jackboot image of his party’s neo-fascist roots and fully emerge as a mainstream rightist leader. Gianfrano Fini, head of the right-wing National Alliance party, is to visit Israel Nov. 23-26, less than a… More ▸

  • Poll Shows Italian Teens Harbor Racist and Anti-semitic Attitudes

    Racist attitudes are increasingly prevalent in Italy, where more than one-third of teenagers may harbor racist views toward Jews, Muslims and immigrants. So says a new poll sponsored by the umbrella organization of Italian Jewry under the auspices of Italy’s president, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. “What we are seeing are new forms of creeping racism that… More ▸