The capital issue. On Tuesday, the League’s leader Matteo Salvini promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital if the right-wing coalition wins the upcoming Italian elections. But his ally Giorgia Meloni, leader of Brothers of Italy and rising star in the Italian right, thinks otherwise.
- The centre-right coalition is ahead in the polls, with BoI (polling at 24,6% according to Euromedia Research) ahead of the League (12,5%) and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (7%).
- But the coalition allies disagree on some issues, including immigration, justice, fiscal slippage and the premiership.
- Ms Meloni recently told Reuters she had no plans to follow the US’ 2020 decision to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.
What Salvini said: “I gave my word, I am fully committed to the people of Israel, and I intend to keep my word,” he said in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom.
- He also attacked the centre-left coalition, arguing that Israelis should “worry about the [Democratic Party] because it has fielded candidates, even as chief of constituency lists, who have written shameful insults against Israel and its right to exist and defend itself.”
The Dem’s rebuke. Mr Salvini “should explain to the Israeli public that his main ally, [BoI], openly cultivated nostalgia for fascism for years,” said the Democrat MP Piero Fassino, hitting back.
- “Even today, there are quite a few in [BoI’s] ranks who exalt a tragic past that the Jewish people paid for with six million victims,” he said, adding that the Democratic Party’s stances “against all forms of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism” are “well documented.”