Ten to 15 thousand epople took to the streets of Rome last night to demonstrate against Iran's open threat to exterminate Israel. While not a massive number, it is 10 to 15 thousand more people than have taken to the streets of Paris or London in the same cause.
A correspondent who follows the Italian media closely writes: "It is getting wide coverage on all the Italo—blogs and especially the press. It was all over the TV news and front page in the newspapers." For example, there is this statement appearing in the press:
"Every defense of the Jews that does not defend Israel is hypocrisy...or disguised anti—Semitism. Viva Israel"! Giancarlo Cesana, head of Communion and Liberation.
Michael Ledeen, of National Review, writes from Rome:
Last night in Rome, an estimated fifteen thousand Italian Christians, Jews and Muslims participated in an exuberant candle—light demonstration in support of Israel, and against the repeated statements of Iranian leaders, calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. For those who believe that the Iranian people somehow support this founding member of the Axis of Evil, have a look at this report from Tehran, where the regime called for a massive demonstration of support for the mullahs and condemnation of Italy:
Teheran (AsiaNews) — A few dozen people: this was how many 'students' the Iranian government managed to mobilize outside the Italian embassy in Teheran, in response to a manifestation set to take place this afternoon in Rome to refute President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's declaration that Israel should be wiped off the map. A peaceful demonstration which lasted less than two hours; the police were out in force and their presence kept in check demonstrators, who contented themselves with lining the sides of the street where the diplomatic office is situated, so as not to block the traffic.
The Iranians, as they do so often, demonstsrated with their feet. They walked the other way.
Photos of the demonstration in Rome can be found in this Italian blog.
Stay tuned. We will update this post as more information becomes available from Italy.
Clarice Feldman and Thomas Lifson 11 04 05