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Jewish leaders met with the president of the Italian Senate after he was the object of racist and anti-Semitic graffiti. Skinheads are believed to have hung a large banner Sept. 24 targeting Renato Schifani with the slogan “Schifani the Jew will be you.” A similar banner was found the next night. The banners, which were hung near a major city higway, were signed with the symbol of an extreme right-wing group. Schifani, who is not Jewish, had declared on a visit to Auschwitz earlier this month that “we are all Israelis.”

Last Friday, the president of the Union of Italian Jews, the chief rabbi of Rome and the president of Rome’s Jewish community expressed their solidarity with Schifani during a half-hour meeting. They also discussed the need to fight racism and educate young people about the Holocaust. Politicians condemned the banners.

The incidents come amid tensions following the murders of immigrants and recent public debate over the legacy of Italy’s World War II fascist regime.

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