Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Italians Riot In The Streets ...
For Israel


Well, it's not a riot, but it is the good news today. In Italy, Italians are demonstrating in the streets in favor of Israel:



In response to Iran's call for the elimination of Israel, Wednesdayevening in Rome, thousands, probably tens of thousands, will demonstrate in support of the Jewish state. The demonstration has been organized by Giuliano Ferrara, the larger-than-life editor of the feisty daily newspaper il Foglio, and the demonstrators will range from members of some Italian Islamic organizations to foreign minister Giancarlo Fini (long a bete noire of America's "leading" newspapers and networks), just back from a trip to the Middle East.

It takes courage to stand up publicly for Israel against the world's leading sponsor of terrorism, especially in contemporary Europe, where anti-Semitism is on the rise, where the Jewish population is minuscule (there are slightly more than 40,000 in all of Italy, less than one percent of Italians), and where the Islamic population is expanding rapidly. I have not noticed any such demonstrations here, for example. But the Italians, as is their wont, have once again broken the stereotype most foreigners hold of them, and have directly challenged the mullahs.

That would be extraordinary enough, but they have done far more than that. They have lifted the taboo on the discussion of Islam itself, and of the way the Islamic world has dealt with Israel since it creation. You know the taboo has been shattered when Magdi Allam, the (Muslim) deputy editor of the Corriere della Sera, Italy's leading newspaper, writes a front-page editorial of the sort that was published earlier this week. Many Muslims, he began, are against the existence of Israel, and many others are afraid they will be called traitors if they approve of it.

Allam asks, What will they have betrayed?

The Palestinian cause? But the Palestinians themselves recognized Israel's right to exist in Oslo in 1993. Islam? Which Islam? Bin Laden's, that mainly kills Muslims in addition to non-Muslims all over the world? That of the Muslim Brotherhood which has laid its hands on most Italian mosques, exploiting our democracy to propagate a fundamentalist and criminal ideology?


Go read the rest.