Israel Won’t Boycott Italy’s New Right-Wing Government

By Zalman Ahnsaf

The logo of the Brothers of Italy party, which won the recent election. 

YERUSHALAYIM – Israel has decided to recognize the newly-elected government in Italy despite criticism of its “fascist roots.”

“Israel congratulates the Italian people for finishing the election and looks forward to continuing the cooperation and friendship with the government that will be established and with the Italian people,” the Foreign Ministry stated, “with an emphasis on the areas of the economy, energy, water, innovation and cyber, in addition to fighting antisemitism and protecting the memory of the Holocaust together.”

The ministry’s statement conspicuously omitted mention of the name of the new prime minister, Giorgia Meloni or her Brothers of Italy party.

A senior diplomatic source quoted by The Jerusalem Post confirmed that the statement meant that Israel will not boycott her.

Brothers of Italy has its roots in the Italian Social Movement, a party founded after World War II by former members of fascist parties led by Benito Mussolini. Israel has a policy of not working with parties established by neo-Nazis or former Nazis, even when they profess to be pro-Israel and are part of the government, such as when Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the Austrian Freedom Party, was foreign minister.

However, Meloni has publicly repudiated the party’s past, saying that “fascism is history” and has punished party members who praised former fascist leaders. She has made positive comments about Israel, but also its enemies, such as Hezbollah and Iran.

Meloni said that she would like to visit Israel in the near future, but would not make a commitment in the question of whether to move the Italian embassy to Yerushalayim.

Riccardo Pacifici, current representative of the European Jewish Association in Italy,  pointed out that Meloni supported Ester Mieli, a Jewish candidate for Senate and the former spokeswoman of Rome’s Jewish community, saying Meloni’s “actions are stronger than words” when it comes to Italian Jewry.

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