The world once again careens toward the madness of naked, shameless Jew-hatred. In Rome, Giancarlo Desiderati, president of a trade union representing 8000 shop assistants called for a plan to "identify and boycott" Jewish-owned shops. From the UK Times:
Jewish leaders said the proposal, put forward by Giancarlo Desiderati, leader of the Flaica-Uniti-Cub union, which represents 8000 shop assistants in Rome, was reminiscent of the anti-Semitic racial laws adopted seventy years ago by the Fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini in imitation of Nazi Germany, under which only "Aryan" shops were allowed to open.
Asked if he was aware of the comparison Mr Desiderati said "We know we will have everyone against us, but we cannot pass over in silence what is happening in Gaza". He said his union had already urged its members to boycott Israeli products, and boycotting Jewish-owned or Jewish-run stores was a logical next step.
Thankfully, political authorities reacted appropriately. Reuters reports:
Italian politicians from right and left joined Jewish groups Friday in condemning a trade union's call to boycott Jewish-owned shops in Rome in protest at the Israeli bombing offensive in the Gaza Strip.
While the union denied accusations of anti-Semitism, Rome's right-wing mayor Gianni Alemanno visited the city's ancient Jewish quarter known as the Ghetto and said the "criminal" proposal echoed the race laws under fascism in the 1930s.
"I am an Italian citizen and it infuriates me that people don't differentiate between the mentality and opinions of an Italian from what is happening in Israel," Jewish Italian shopkeeper Giuseppe Livoli told La Repubblica newspaper.
Meanwhile in Melbourne, Australia, attacks on Jews have escalated. The Age reports:
Many Jews assumed that a second Holocaust was unthinkable. But with soon-to-by nuclear Iran promising to annihilate the Jews of Israel, and world wide attacks on Jews rising, no longer can this fear be idly dismissed.
ANTI-SEMITIC attacks on Melbourne's Jews have escalated since the latest outbreak of violence in the Middle East.
Jewish organisations, schools and synagogues have been the target of abusive phone calls and letters and Jewish people have been abused on the street since hostilities escalated in Gaza over the past fortnight.
The president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, John Searle, said he was concerned the attacks could worsen.
Temple Beth in St Kilda had been daubed with anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist slogans within a few days of the latest outbreak of violence in the Middle East, he said.
"At a post-funeral service five or six nights ago, again in St Kilda, as the crowd was coming out, a passerby stopped and hurled the most vile anti-Semitic abuse that he related to what was going on at the moment in Gaza.
"Basically, this passerby's view was that 'all f------ Jews should be killed'. That's the sort of hostility people here in Melbourne have to deal with."