Italian pol Fiamma Nirenstein planning aliyah


ROME (JTA) – Fiamma Nirenstein, a prominent Jewish Italian political figure, is planning a move to Israel.

Nirenstein will not run for re-election to Parliament in next month’s general elections and in Israel will resume work as a journalist writing about the country.

Her motivations for stepping down after five years in the Chamber of Deputies are “the two loves of my life, journalism and Israel,” she said in an interview published Jan. 17 in the Il Giornale newspaper. She added that she plans to “return to Israel and get citizenship there.”

Born in Florence, Nirenstein was elected to Parliament in April 2008 as a member on the center-right People of Freedom ticket headed by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. During her tenure, she was outspoken in her support for Israel and condemnation of anti-Semitism.

She told Il Giornale that she was “profoundly disappointed” by outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti’s decision to vote to recognize Palestine as a non-member state of the United Nations.

Nirenstein serves as vice president of the Chamber of Deputies Foreign Affairs Commission, chairs the Parliamentary Committee for the Inquiry on Anti-Semitism and is president of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians.

A longtime journalist and author specializing on the Middle East, she was a correspondent in Israel for Il Giornale before her election, and during her parliamentary tenure has continued to write columns for the paper and other media. In 1993-94 she was the director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv before she moved to Jerusalem.

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