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  • Italian Jews Irate over Editorial, Blast It As Anti-semitic, Ill-informed

    An Italian commentator has outraged Jews with a prominent and provocative editorial they claim is anti-Semitic. In the editorial, Barbara Spinelli claimed that the Jewish world should make a public apology for “the peoples or individuals” who paid in “blood or exile” so that Israel could exist. Italian Jewish leaders sharply attacked Spinelli’s article in… More ▸

  • Controversial Italian Politician May Finally Be Welcomed in Israel

    The door is opening for the leader of an Italian party with fascist roots to visit Israel. In an interview published Monday, Israel’s new ambassador to Italy, Ehud Gol, implied that Israeli officials believe Gianfranco Fini, deputy prime minister in Italy’s center-right government, has shaken off his neo-fascist roots and become a mainstream politician. “We… More ▸

  • Sharon Bonds with Berlusconi, Making Italian Jews Feel Uneasy

    For Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, his visit here with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi appears to have been a love fest. “My feeling is that I came to pay a visit to an ally,” Sharon said last Friday after his overnight stay in Rome. “I found a government that is friendly, and a prime… More ▸

  • Italian Jews Divided As Government of Media Tycoon Includes Far Rightists

    Italian Jews are sharply divided over the new center-right government headed by media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi that includes two controversial politicians with far-right links. Berlusconi, whose Freedom House coalition swept the center-left from power in general elections last month, was sworn in Monday as prime minister of Italy’s 59th government since 1945. “Like Italians at… More ▸

  • Italy Wants ‘butcher of Genoa’ Jailed: Germany Promises It Will Investigate

    Italy wants Germany to arrest and jail a 92-year-old former Nazi convicted of war crimes in Italy. Friedrich Engel, the “butcher of Genoa,” was convicted in absentia in Italy two years ago for having rounded up and killed nearly 250 civilians in northern Italy during World War II. Last week, a German television station traced… More ▸

  • Italian Insurance Agreement Could Speed Other Holocaust Policy Deals

    The light at the end of the tunnel has become a little brighter for some Holocaust victims and their heirs. Prospects for payments on insurance policies issued in the years preceding the Holocaust improved after Italy’s largest insurance company, Assicurazioni Generali, finalized an agreement to pay $100 million to settle Holocaust-era insurance claims and provide… More ▸

  • Italy Says It Would Host a Mideast Peace Summit

    Italy has offered to host a Middle East peace summit in Rome. “We are awaiting a response” from regional leaders on whether such a meeting “would be conducive” to the peace process, Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato said when he made the announcement Wednesday before a session of Parliament. Amato announced the invitation a day… More ▸

  • Arts and Culture: Italian Singer Uses His Noodle in Show About His Jewish Roots

    “Lokhshen” — noodles — is also the Yiddish word for spaghetti. It is the name Italian singer and actor Enrico Fink has given a new stage production and CD based on his search for his own Eastern European Jewish roots. The title is deliberately ironic. “Lokhshen is how Jewish immigrants on New York’s Lower East… More ▸

  • Italian Jewish Anti-fascist Dies from Flu Complications

    Italy’s president and other leading political and cultural figures were among the hundreds of people who attended Tuesday’s funeral of Bruno Zevi, an eminent Jewish architect and anti-fascist political activist. Zevi died Sunday at his home in Rome from complications of the flu less than two weeks before his 82nd birthday. Rome Mayor Francesco Rutelli… More ▸