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Lazio fans taunt Roma with chants about Anne Frank mere months after the club promised action on antisemitism

Fewer than sixth months after the club’s establishment promised action on antisemitism, Lazio fans have yet again invoked the Holocaust in a match with local rivals Roma.

Lazio fans chanted “Anne Frank is from Roma” at the Roma squad, a match on Sunday shortly after Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day.

Roma, who have a reputation as being both a left wing and a Jewish club, often finds itself the target of antisemitic abuse. In November, we wrote about the prevalence of antisemitism across European football, making key, tried-and-tested policy suggestions that could be used to combat it, and expressed hope that similar progress to that which has been seen in the UK could also be seen across mainland Europe. We wrote following hundreds of Lazio ultras, hooligans closely associated with the far right, congregated outside the stadium to perform Nazi salutes, with antisemitic stickers being posted around the stadium. Whilst there have been a handful of arrests for those incidents, the response was largely performative and short lived, with little genuine sign that there have been consistent efforts to identify and punish antisemites.

Italian football clubs are responsible, under Italian domestic law, for the misbehaviour of their fans, and Lazio was fined around 50 thousand Euros in January for the incidents last year, an amount which is a drop in the ocean for a club who is able to pay several players more than this amount each week.

This incident confirms that the events of last year were not an isolated anomaly, but part of a growing and obvious problem in European football. In our previous article, we detailed how British football laws were developed to help counter the far right, which was increasingly using football terraces as a recruiting tool. In order to prevent their national sport becoming a hotbed of antisemitic and racist extremists, Italy must meet this threat with strict laws and strict enforcement of those laws.

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Paedophile Priest told victim his crimes were an “old Jewish ritual”

Mauro Inzoli, a Catholic Priest recently convicted of child sex offences, claimed that his abhorrent crimes were merely an “old Jewish ritual”.

Inzoli, who was condemned by Pope Francis, as found guilty of eight counts of sexual abuse of children aged 12 to 16 years old between 2004 and 2008. He molested children during confession, away on camps, and even at hospital.

He told one victim that his actions “referred to a sort of ‘baptism of the testicles’ which he said was a Jewish ritual found in the Old Testament as a sign of affection between father and son”. None such ritual exists in Jewish practice.

Inzoli was sentenced to five years in jail, and has been defrocked by Pope Francis, meaning he will not be able to serve as a Priest in any capacity. He was also ordered to pay damages to his victims.

Whilst this is not necessarily an antisemitic incident, the fact that Inzoli used the Jewish religion as a way of targeting his victims is utterly horrifying, and deserves remarking upon by Jewish sources.


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Italian MP bemoans “Zionist influence” on Press, calls Zionism “synonymous with racism”

Manlio Di Stefano, the 36-year-old head of the Five Star Movement’s Foreign Affairs Committee, has made antisemitic comments about “Zionist influence” on the media.

Di Stefano posted the comments on his Facebook page, protesting Italy’s vote in favour of Israel at UNESCO.

The Five Star Movement is a populist and anti-establish political party in Italy.

Di Stefano claimed that in supporting Israel, Italy “became a partner of the damage that  Israel is causing to ancient monuments that UNESCO cannot protect because of the Israeli occupation and the blockade of Gaza that UNESCO has asked to remove”. He continued to say that Zionism is “synonymous with racism”. According to the Definition of Antisemitism, “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour” is antisemitic.

In his comments, he then listed the names of several Jewish journalists, citing them as being sources of “Zionist Influence in Italian Media”. The idea of “Zionists” influencing the media is an unapologetic use of a common antisemitic canard of Jews controlling the media, which is common in antisemitic conspiracy theories. According to the Definition of Antisemitism, it is antisemitic to use “the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis”. However, beyond this, the targeting of individual Jewish journalists, as opposed to the general statement, is somewhat more insidious and more worrying, and provides an illustration of how the harbouring antisemitic views spills over into direct attacks against individual Jews.

Parliamentary sources have reportedly confirmed that this incident is likely to spoil Di Stefano’s chances of securing a more senior position.

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“There is a Jew here” – threatening note, Swastika left at home of Israeli dignitary in Italy

Major correction: the graffiti pictured was of a more serious nature than we had originally appreciated. It translates to – “be a patriot, kill a Jew”. This is thus not just an instance of intimidation, but of incitement to violence. The oversight was due to a lack of a translator and having to rely on an intermediate source.

Luigi De Santis, an honourary Israeli consul in the Italian City of Bari, has reported threatening antisemitic vandalism at his house in the city.

The words “There is a Jew here, too” were scrawled on his property, on what appears to be a front door. A Swastika is worked into the message.

Another note said “Jewish also here” with a crucifix.

He apparently found a similar note in his post a few days ago.

These persistent incidents amount to antisemitic harassment, and the use of a cross and a Swastika to target a Jew is an example of the most stark and obvious Christian-European Antisemitism which is often incorrectly written off as no longer existing.

The language used appears quite threatening, as if to remind De Santis that the vandal knows where he lives and knows that he is Jewish.

The police are investigating.

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Tunisian arrested in Italy after waving knife at police and screaming “you are Jews. I will kill you all”.

A Tunisian man has been arrested in Bologna, Italy, after it was alleged that he shouted antisemitic threats at police and injured two of them.

Passers by had called the police after the man shouted curses in Arabic. The police arrived and found him sat on the steps of a Church. The 30-year-old Tunisian man, when apprehended by police, brandished a knife and screamed “you are Jews. I will kill you all”.

He was handcuffed, but allegedly still managed to injure two of the police officers, causing injuries that will keep them away from their duties for several days. He was allegedly arrested with an illegal substance on his person.

Bologna is home to a small, historic Jewish community. It is fortunate that this man was apprehended by police officers who were capable of detaining him before he was able to carry out any direct attacks on Jewish residents of the city.

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Neo-Nazis litter Milan with antisemitic posters claiming a Jewish conspiracy “enslaves the population”

A small Italian neo-Nazi group called NSAB-MLNS has littered the streets of Milan with antisemitic posters, the CFCA reports.

The posters appeared in Garbagnate Milanese earlier this week.

One of the posters shows an antisemitic caricature of a Jewish man in a kippah counting a large amount of cash, and is captioned “blood against gold” and beseeches the reader to “wake up”, accusing Jews of “printing cash from nothing and lending it to the state”, which they call a “crime” that “enslaves the population”.

The accusation that Jews control the monetary system is a common antisemitic conspiracy theory, which predates but was perhaps most widely promoted in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It is a particularly virulent accusation, which is often used to use Jews as a scapegoat for all kinds of social ills.

Another showed two images of Rubik’s cubes, one solved and the other solved. Next to the unsolved one is said “multinational ideal” and next to the unsolved one it said “socio-nationalist ideal”, adding that “the savage invasion that Europe is suffering is not the result of spontaneous migration…but is part of a designed plan many years ago by those who wanted to destroy every race and every culture”. A common contemporary variant of antisemitic conspiracy theories involve the idea that Jews are somehow behind mass migration, with conspiracy theories often referencing “globalists”, as well as mentioning Jews or “Zionists” explicitly.

Another poster has two quotations, one from Voltaire saying “”to learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise”, and another from Ezra Pound saying “to learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise”. Again, the idea that Jews control the media is a common antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Whilst the last two posters are far from explicitly antisemitic, the fact that one of them has a clearly antisemitic depiction of a Jew and all of them references conspiracy theories which are frequently used to defame Jews, as well as the fact that NSAB-MLNS is an explicitly neo-Nazi group, should leave no doubts as to the true intent behind them. Unfortunately, these are symptomatic of a growing far-right in Europe, which is contributing to Jews feeling less and less welcome.

The contents of the posters were translated for us by Hannah Monk.

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Italian court rules that antisemitic slurs in football match are “merely sports ridicule”

Two fans of the Italian football team Lazio have been acquitted after having been accused of antisemitic abuse during a game in 2013.

During a game against Calcio Catania, Lazio fans were caught on CCTV making antisemitic chants about their rivals, Roma.

They screamed the words “yellow-red Jew”, referring to the Roma strips, among other antisemitic language. The use of the word Jew as a pejorative is clearly antisemitic, regardless of the context.

However, the Judge has acquitted the fans on the basis that the antisemitic language is acceptable based on the “historic sports antagonism between the two urban teams” and the fact that they were not playing against Roma, writing off the abuse as “merely sports ridicule”

The head of Rome’s Jewish community said “This is, without doubt, an extremely dangerous precedent for justice in this country”. Unfortunately, this may make the word “Jew” acceptable to use as an insult.

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Official at Islamic University calls for “final solution”

A senior administrator at the Islamic University in Lecce, Italy, has called for a “final solution”

On his Facebook page, Raphael Villani wrote “there needs to be a final solution for Zionists” and that “the real Jews are the victims of Zionists”.

The Israeli Embassy in Italy discovered the comments, which have since been removed.

Calling for a final solution, the language used by the Nazis to describe the systematic extermination of the European Jewry, is clearly antisemitic, and is also a possibly a case of incitement. His assertion that Zionists are not “real Jews” contradicts many surveys and polls which show that large proportions of religious Jews identify as Zionists. It is thus a tool used to strip Jews who disagree with his position of their voice and their identities, attempting to portray the minority of Jews who agree with his position as “real” Jews, and the rest as not.

Given that in America, as an example, 90% of Orthodox Jews, 88% of Conservative Jews, and 70% of Reform Jews count themselves as Zionists, calling for a “final solution for Zionists” is nothing short of advocating genocide.



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Holocaust Memorial Vandalized

Red spray paint reads, “Burn the bank” on a Holocaust memorial opened just this year in Bologna. This happened just one month after the monument’s debut. 

On one part of the memorial, four dice were drawn with numbers corresponding to the alphabet, comprising the acronym “A.C.A.B.” or “all cops are bastards.” This was followed by the message, “Extinguish your mortgage, turn on your bank,” followed by an “A” circled in anarchist fashion. 

Another message scrawled on the side of the memorial read, “Place the crate,” reminiscent of concentration camp dormitories.

Claudio Mazzanti, leader of the Democratic Party of the City Council believes the vandals to be “political delinquents” creating a “political provocation” that is, above all else, “stupid” and “shameful.”

Valter Giovannini, deputy prosecutor of Bologna called the act “vile” and an “ignoble gesture. More books and less spray cans.”

Chief Rabbi of Bologna, Alberto Sermoneta, while not underestimating the event, did not wish to dramatize it. He called this crime, “an act, which must be taken for what it is, that is, a manifestation of stupidity…This does not outrage me as a Jew, but as a human being.”

The offenders are expected to be apprehended via images caught on cameras in the area. 

In addition to the graffiti found on the new Shoah memorial, more vandalism was discovered on via Zamboni. Writing targeted the Municipal Theater and commissioner Ignazio Coccia. As in the memorial, another anarchist “A” was seen in the sprayed message, “Coccia hang.” Right beside the entrance of the theatre, someone wrote, “Playground for the rich.”

Daniele De Paz, president of the Jewish community commented that this type of behavior is happening all over the city. “It is a widespread act, I do not think it centers around antisemitism. These slogans are generic and have been found in this piazza in which the Shoah memorial was born, but we believe that the person who besmirched the wall and the monument at night did so only because he found himself in front of a blank white sheet and for this decided to write in this place. Regardless of this, however, the gesture is absolutely unjustifiable and we condemn it.”

“I want to believe that there is still insufficient knowledge of this place that merits much respect, and for this reason the wall has been used for slogans distant from us.” 

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Italian journalist accosted in London tube

David Guetta, native Florentine and writer for Firenze Viola, was approached by a small crowd of Italian youth after a football match in London on February 25.

Guetta, a sports journalist, had been covering a Europa League match between ACF Fiorentina (known as Fiorentina of Florence) and Tottenham Hotspur F.C. (the ‘Spurs’ of Tottenham, London). While awaiting a train on his way back to his hotel after the game, Guetta was surrounded by about 20 teenagers who recognized him and sang, “David Guetta, c’è un treno per Mauthausen che ti aspetta” (David Guetta, a train for Mauthausen waits for you).

Guetta is known as the radio voice of Fiorentina. In response to the event, he published a blog, writing, “…[these young adults] almost certainly do not really know what happened at Mauthausen. Or at Auschwitz, or at Dachau, or at Treblinka. I would have liked to have this encounter on via Farini, in front of the plaque that commemorates the Florentines that left on these trains that today these people want me to go on, on which none of them ever returned.”

Guetta mentioned that in his 30 years of providing radio post-match analysis, he has been subjected to racist anti-Semitic slurs on many occasions. One such event occurred six years ago, when an individual expressed his desire to come to the radio station and “chop off his head” in regard to Guetta’s professional promotion. 

Despite not being an observant Jew, Guetta’s response to these aggressions has been to rejoin the Florentine Jewish community.

Editors of expressed solidarity with their colleague.

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Rampant Facebook antisemitism after Brussels attacks

After terror attacks hit Brussels on 22nd March, Facebook became the venue for widespread antisemitic publications. Profiles of individuals, groups, organisations, and movements aggressively posted polemics against Jews.

While it is typical for conflicts in the Middle East and acts of international terrorism to evoke a vigorous outpouring of antisemitic media (cartoons, photos, comments, etc), there were a few particularly notable posts made recently that are particularly appropriate considering the current high holiday.

One supporter of Italy’s radical right, who defines himself as Kapò at Ferramonti of Tarsi (also know as Ferramonti, an Italian internment camp established by Benito Mussolini in 1940 for political dissidents and ethnic minorities, which housed over 3,800 Jews in the far south), posted, “The Brussels attacks get interpreted as a conspiracy and as a blood ritual practiced by the Jews to ‘propitiate’ the coming Passover holiday.”

The small neo-Nazi party of Lombardy, NSAB-MLNS (NationalSozialistische Arbeiter Bewegung — Movimento di Lavoratori NazionalSocialista), calling themselves the Workers’ National Socialist Movement, published a photo of graffiti that claims, “Terrorism has no religion, it only has financiers: Paris and Brussels are farces of a Jewish system.”

NSAB-MLNS also preaches ideas such as, “Europe is White—fight with us to safeguard your identity!” and “Life is a fight—who doesn’t fight, dies.” This group supports the Waffen SS and denies the Holocaust.

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Swastika sprayed on Italian school named after Anne Frank

In Montecchio Maggiore, a small town situated just outside of Vicenza, between Verona and Venice, multiple schools were desecrated with antisemitic graffiti. Public middle school, Anne Frank, was vandalised on the night of Friday, 4th March, as delinquents defaced the school’s sign with a swastika.

Afterwards, evidence suggests the vandals got into the school yard where they tarnished a wall with blasphemy, slander against the school’s vice principle, Alessandra Mantiero, and antisemitic libel. Similar writing was found on elementary school, Manzoni.

Upon arrival at school Monday morning, students and teachers were shocked. Especially poignant is the fact that a school named after a victim of the Holocaust, in remembrance of Nazi persecution, has been targeted with antisemitic violence. In addition to besmirching the schools, the hoodlums knocked about plants and attempted to start a fire. A tree in the courtyard was planted to commemorate the experience of the oppressed during World War II, as the tree Anne Frank watched grow from outside her window in Amsterdam while she was in hiding.

In response to this expression of contempt for a name that is symbolic of persecution, president of the parents’ committee, Barbara Gasparella stated, “It is a very serious act.”

Livio Fedrigo, a teacher at the school, explained, “For us it is not a joke because this act extols a situation that we, in school, fight against. They [the culprits] wanted to strike universal symbols. On our [the teachers’ ] part, we stand in full solidarity with Mantiero.”

Police located the spray-paint can used to deface the schools by Manzoni. Thanks to nearby bank surveillance camera footage, local police have been able to identify the vandals as 13, 14, and 15 year old students.

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Literary Nobel Prize winner, Dario Fo, speaks of ‘Jewish brutality’

Playwright, actor, comedian, singer, director, painter, politician and overall Renaissance man, Dario Fo, commented on Jews in a recent interview with Anna Bandettini of La Repubblica. In response to a question regarding Roberto Benigni, Fo criticised the actor/comedian for his work on The Ten Commandments, a show aired by Italy’s RAI 1 channel.

Benigni, who acts in this rendition of the Exodus, said that there is no more beautiful story. In the La Repubblica interview, Fo calls Benigni out for being an ‘opportunist’ and states that, “…you cannot become the maker of the Jews and not mention their brutality against those of other religions, as it happens today…Benigni is not good for comedy.”

Fo, who is internationally acclaimed for his plays, has notably been denounced by the Vatican for his ‘blasphemous’ writing. In 1997 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Swastika and Star of David mural sprayed on supermarket in Rome

A supermarket in Rome has been defaced with a mural depicting a swastika and Star of David. The graffiti was discovered in the Ostia district of Rome.

Source: Osservatorio Antisemitismo

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Swastika found on the wall of the Marconi institute in Sanremo, Italy

A swastika has been found painted on the wall of the Marconi institute in Sanremo, Italy.

Source: Osservatorio Antisemitismo

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Bright red swastika painted on mediaeval tower in square in Rome

A swastika has been found painted in red on a mediaeval tower in Piazza San Martino ai Monti in Rome, Italy.

Source: Osservatorio Antisemitismo

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Antisemitic football slogan found sprayed on a wall in Genoa, Italy

An antisemitic football slogan has been found in the Albaro neighbourhood of Genoa, Italy. The graffiti says “Doriano ebreo” (“Dorian Jew”), referring to fans of the football team of Genoa.

Source: CFCA/Osservatorio Antisemitismo

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Italian police investigate Radio Islam for list of “powerful” Jews

Italian police have opened an investigation into Radio Islam, following its publication of a “Jewish power” list featuring the names of prominent Italian Jewish journalists, businessmen, actors and personalities who the website accused of being part of a “Nazi Jewish mafia”.

The article was published on the Italian page of Radio Islam, a multi-language platform hosting essays from renowned Holocaust deniers. Radio Islam started in Sweden but after its broadcasting licence was revoked and its founder imprisoned, it was relaunched as a website which publishes antisemitic propaganda. The banner of the website says: “Know Your enemy! No time to waste. Act now! Tomorrow it will be too late.”

Sources: Radio Islam, IB Times

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Jewish man stabbed multiple times in planned attack outside kosher pizzeria in Milan

An orthodox Jewish man has been stabbed outside a kosher pizzeria in Milan. The victim was stabbed four times, including in the face, although one account said he had been stabbed ten times. Witnesses say the attacker shouted “I will kill you” twice in Italian before knocking the victim to the ground and stabbing him. A passerby intervened and in the process the attacker’s mask slipped from his face. Some accounts said that he appeared to be of Arab descent. He then fled to a car in which two men were sitting and they sped away. The victim was rushed to hospital and is reportedly in a moderate condition.

The attack took place in the Jewish Quarter of Milan. The Milanese Jewish community numbers around 7,000 people, making it the second largest in Italy after Rome. One member of the community told Le Repubblica: “We are afraid that this is an attempt to mimic the attacks in Israel” where there has been a wave of stabbings of Jews by Palestinians.

Whilst some sources named the victims as 40-year-old Nathan Graff who was visiting his father-in-law from abroad, others, including the Jewish community of Rome, said that the man was a local resident who worked in a wine shop.

We have seen other incidents of Jews being stabbed outside Israel, most recently in Marseille and New York. In Marseille, police claimed that the attack was committed by a mentally disturbed drunk man, but this was later debunked by a court which dismissed his plea of insanity.

Photo: La Repubblica

Sources: Courier della SeraLa Repubblica and Times of Israel

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Head of Italian football association allegedly makes antisemitic remark

Discussing the purchase of the headquarters of the National Amateur League, Italian football association president Carlo Tavecchio allegedly said: “Bought from that Jew, Anticoli.” He now says that he is being blackmailed and has no recollection of making the remark.