Italian leaders decry list of ‘influential’ Italian Jews


(JTA) — Italian leaders expressed anger and solidarity with the Jewish community after a neo-Nazi Internet forum published a list of "influential" Italian Jews on its website.

The Italian media Wednesday called the list on the American white supremacist website Stormfront "a blacklist of hate." The list included journalists, businesspeople, politicians, artists and others.

Politicians denounced the Stormfront posting and called for action against online hatred.

The list "reminds us of the most shameful page in our history when, based on similar lists, thousands of Italians were expelled from schools, universities and workplaces and were deprived of citizenship and persecuted," Nicola Zingaretti, president of the Province of Rome, said in a statement.

Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno expressed "shame and anger," and called those who posted the list "ignorant and racist cowards."

Italian lawmaker Enrico Gasbarra called for urgent action by the European Union to implement legislation that would "put an end, once and for all, to the possibility of using the Net as a tool of violence and persecution."

According to figures cited by the Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center, Italy’s leading research center on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, there are 1,200 Italian websites with some form of anti-Semitic content.

"It is very difficult to intervene when the sites have their servers in other countries," as Stormfront does, the center’s Michele Sarfatti said.

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