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Sharett Lauds Italy; is Honored by Italian Jewish Communities

March 31, 1952
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett was the guest of honor here at a reception by the Italian Jewish community held at the Grand Hotel. The Israeli diplomat, here on an official visit as guest of the Italian Government, was welcomed by Renzo Bonfiglioli, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, and Carlo Viterbo, president of the Italian Zionist Federation. Representatives of all Italian Jewish communities and organizations were present.

The Israeli Foreign Minister praised Italian Jewry’s contributions to Israel and declared that Italian immigrants were among the best of Israel’s citizens. He expressed pleasure at addressing the world’s oldest Jewish community and said that it was only since the rebirth of Israel that the Arch of Titus no longer symbolized present reality.

(The Arch of Titus was erected in 70 A. D. to commemorate the victory of the Roman general Titus over the Jews and Titus’ Jewish captives were paraded under the arch. An old legend says that subsequently Jews never passed under the arch in order not to be reminded of their fate. After the liberation of Rome from the Germans in World War II, Palestinian Jewish units marched under the arch in a symbolic gesture to end the legend of Jewish enslavement.)

His visit to Italy, Mr. Sharett said, marked a new phase in Italian-Israeli relations. Two Mediterranean democracies, he said, were now meeting as equals. The freedom accorded to Jews collaborating in the Zionist effort, he declared, demonstrated that Italy was a real democracy. Wherever such freedom was not enjoyed, democracy does not exist. He called on the Jews of Italy to continue and intensify their aid to Israel.

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