Giorgia Meloni speaks on antisemitism. Sunday (October 16) was the 79th anniversary of the Raid of Rome’s Ghetto. Italy’s likeliest next PM, whose party is rooted in post-fascism, chose to commemorate this recurrence by expressing her closeness to the head of Rome’s Jewish Community, Ruth Dureghello, and releasing a rather unforgiving statement.
“October 16, 1943, is a tragic, dark and irremediable day for Rome and Italy. That morning, a few minutes after 5 am, [saw] the cowardly and inhuman deportation of Roman Jews at the hands of the Nazi-Fascist fury: women, men and children were snatched from their lives, house by house. More than a thousand people were deported; only fifteen men and one woman made it back. None of the children. A horror that must be a warning so that such tragedies do not happen again. A memory that we know belongs to all Italians, a memory that serves to build antibodies against indifference and hatred. A memory to continue to fight, in all its forms, antisemitism.”
Brothers of Italy walks the talk. Other influential party members followed their leader in commemorating the occurrence. The newly-elected Speaker of the Senate, Ignazio La Russa, noted that October 16 was “one of the darkest pages of [Italy’s] history.” And BoI Senator Lucio Malan assured that “certain positions against Jewish people would not be tolerated.”
- “The words expressed by Giorgia Meloni to the president of the Jewish Community once again manifest a [manner of] proximity that is not formal, but substantial. All the more so on occasions such as these, which bring back memories of the heinousness of Nazi-Fascist crimes, the offspring of the [abominable] racial laws,” he said.
Dealing with the past. Such statements carry a world of significance, especially in light of Brothers of Italy’s post-fascist political heritage. As it polishes its credentials and readies to enter the international political stage as Italy’s guiding force, the party is highlighting its ideological distance from Antisemitism as well as its closeness to the Jewish cause and the State of Israel – which, on its part, has signalled its willingness to work with Ms Meloni.