Venice police investigate beach club owner over fascist messages


(JTA) – Police are investigating the owner of a beach club south of Venice for promoting fascism.

According to local media, Venice police authorities also ordered Gianni Scarpa to immediately remove “any reference to fascism in notices, signs or any other written form” at the club and to halt spreading “messages critical of democracy.”

Special operations police raided the Playa Punta Canna beach club in Chioggia last weekend, and Italian media ran photos and descriptions of fascist slogans, posters, pictures of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and other material displayed there.

A large sign in the parking lot announced that the club was an “anti-democratic zone” and listed its “rules” as “order, cleanliness, discipline, severity.”

The Italian parliament is currently discussing a bill that would ban propagation of “the images or contents of the Fascist Party or the German National Socialist Party.” A leading backer of the bill is Chamber of Deputies member Emanuele Fiano, who is Jewish and the son of a Holocaust survivor.

Last week, a right-wing deputy, Massimo Corsaro, drew fire for criticizing Fiano in a Facebook post that many viewed as anti-Semitic. It showed a portrait of Fiano, with the comment that he had bushy eyebrows “to cover the signs of circumcision.” Fiano replied, also on Facebook: “Yes, I am circumcised and a Jew. Proudly.”

Corsaro, he said, had expressed “the worst fascist-type anti-Semitism.” He added, “I am sorry for my father and for all those who, because of their circumcision, were tortured, massacred, or killed.”

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