(JTA) – An Italian lawmaker sparked outrage with a tweet asserting that the famous wealthy Jewish family the Rothschilds control international banking and appeared to buy into the notorious anti-Semitic hoax “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
He later deleted the tweet and apologized.
The tweet Monday by Sen. Elio Lannutti, of the populist Five Star Movement, linked to a website with anti-Semitic content claiming Rothschild global dominance.
Lannutti, who represents a political party that forms Italy’s government coalition with the right-wing League Party, deleted his tweet following protest from opposition politicians.
Five Star party leader Luigi De Maio also said he “distanced” himself and the party as a whole from it. The Jewish community website Moked called the tweet “a delusional post” that “reinforces the arguments presented in ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.’”
After deleting the tweet Lannutti posted an apology on social media saying he had not intended to offend anyone and stating that linking to content didn’t mean he agreed with it. He denied being an anti-Semite.
In his deleted tweet Lannutti had written that “The ‘Group of the Elders of Zion’ and Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the skillful founder of the famous dynasty that still today controls the International Banking System, led to the creation of a manifesto: ‘The Protocols…’” The web page he linked to also appeared to have been deleted.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was published in Czarist Russia in the early 20th century and claim to describe a Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world.