Rome posters call for boycott of Jewish shops

An apparent collaboration between left- and right-wing extremists, fliers list over 40 businesses to avoid

Anti-Semitic graffiti in Rome's District III on Saturday, January 25, 2014. (photo credit: Yuri Bugli, Facebook)
Anti-Semitic graffiti in Rome's District III on Saturday, January 25, 2014. (photo credit: Yuri Bugli, Facebook)

Italy’s Jewish leadership called a new wave of anti-Jewish signposting in Rome “an alarm bell that cannot be ignored,” suggesting that it appeared to link far-left and far-right factions.

Renzo Gattegna, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, issued the warning after fliers urging a boycott of Jewish-owned stores in the capital were discovered plastered on walls in several districts of Rome on Saturday.

The fliers were signed by an extreme-right group, “Vita Est Militia,” but its pro-Palestinian text echoed slogans of the far-left.

“We are witnessing with concern the solidifying of the extremist underworld in the name of a common anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hatred, whose most violent mode of expressions, still partially latent, risks forming a danger to the entire national collective,” Gattegna said.

The fliers said that “boycotting any type of Jewish product or business is fundamental to stop the massacre in Palestine,” claiming that “every shop, factory and business under Jewish ownership sends a percentage of its profits to Israel to furnish weapons and continue to kill those who have a right to live in their own homeland.”

The fliers listed by name more than 40 clothing stores, butcher shops, restaurants and bars, and hotels, which, they said, were owned by Jews.

Since the fighting in Gaza broke out, there have been several instances of anti-Jewish graffiti in Rome and elsewhere in Italy. Last week, for example, unknown vandals scrawled “Judey pigs we will kill you a lot” in ungrammatical English on the wall of the synagogue in the northeast town of Gorizia. In all cases, authorities sharply condemned the vandalism, removed the graffiti, and ordered police investigations. News reports said three extreme right-wing activists are under investigation for scrawling anti-Semitic graffiti in Rome at the end of July.

In his statement, Gattegna thanked the authorities for the “firmness” of their response.

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