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Commentary Last Updated: Feb 2nd, 2007 - 02:27:54

Open letter to Giorgio Napolitano, the president of Italy
By Manno Mauro
Online Journal Guest Writer

Feb 2, 2007, 02:24

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Mr. President, from what I can read on RAI�s (Italian television) teletext service, you are supposed to have stated: �No to anti-Semitism even when it is disguised as anti-Zionism.�

�Anti-Zionism entails the rejection of the source of inspiration of the Jewish State, of the reasons for its very foundation, yesterday, and of its security today, which goes beyond the government�s taking turns at Israel�s leadership.�

If this is what you really think, and obviously I hope that is not the case, let me say that these are wrong and serious statements and I hope that they may arouse a calm and reasoned but firm reaction by many Italians.

Mr. President, let me disagree with your first remark. You argue that the opposition to Zionism is a disguised form of anti-Semitism. One would be led to think that you meant to say that only some anti-Semites conceal their real anti-Semitism behind an alleged or false anti-Zionism.

You have formulated your thought in an unequivocal way: to you, the person who is anti-Zionist is an anti-Semite sic et simpliciter. I agree with you that anti-Zionism is the �rejection of the source of inspiration of the Jewish State and of the reasons for its very foundation,� but I firmly believe that the denial of the reasons of the Jewish state�s birth and its replacement with a sole democratic State for Jews and Palestinians throughout the entirety of Palestine might bring nothing but good to the Jews, the Palestinians and the Middle Eastern and peoples as a whole. I hold, and I am not the only one, given that many anti-Zionist Jews have the same opinion, that the Zionist state for Jews only is as racist, colonialist and expansionist an idea as was the South African racist state for whites only.

The Zionist nature of Israel is a menace to world peace and to Jews themselves.

Mr. President, I am not a Holocaust-denier and I do not nurture anti-Jewish feelings. I only want the Jews living in Palestine to not deny the Palestinians a right they claim for themselves. The Palestinians, both refugees and residents in Israel or in the Occupied Territories, have the right to live peacefully and in harmony in Palestine, enjoying the democratic freedoms that all the peoples of the world deserve. This principle we do not refuse to the Jews from Palestine, but it is denied by Israel to the Palestinians.

Are you perhaps in favour of the states grounded on ethnicity? I thought I had understood that you and the party you come from were in favour of democratic states in which all citizens are equal, regardless of their religion, their ethnicity and their culture.

Maybe I was wrong. I cannot understand why have Italy and the EU committed themselves to equal rights between whites and blacks in South Africa, between Macedonians and Albanians in Macedonia, between Muslims and Orthodox Christians in Bosnia, between Sunni, Shia and Christians in Lebanon, and then support the exclusively Jewish character of Israel?

Has Israeli Prime Minister Olmert asked you, too, as he has done with Mr. Prodi (Italy�s prime minister), to defend Israel as an exclusively Jewish and Zionist State?

If this is your opinion, I want to ask you:

  • Should Israel decide to deport non-Jewish Israeli citizens, just as the racist Minister Avigdor Liebermann has been demanding for some time, would you endorse this policy in the name of support for the Jewish character of the Israeli State?

  • Do you perhaps ignore the fact that the non-Jewish citizens of Israel do not have the same rights as the Jewish ones? Do you not know that a non-Jewish Israeli citizen is not allowed by law to purchase land or property from a Jew? Do you ignore, perhaps, that there are roads connecting Israel to the settlements in the Occupied Territories that Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and even Arab citizens of Israel are not allowed to use? This is a fact well known by everyone. I want also to remind you, inter alia, that the rejoining is denied to the spouse of an Arab citizen of Israel if this spouse comes from the Occupied Territories. I hope you are informed about the proposed law before the Knesset that provides for removing Israeli nationality from an Israeli Arab citizen if he is not willing to profess his loyalty to Zionism. You might consider that this corresponds to accepting the historical injustice that Zionism has done to the Palestinians by the Jewish victims of an injustice.

  • Do you not believe that convincing those Jews supporting Israel (fortunately enough it is not about all the Jews) to get rid of a form of state which discriminates against its non-Jewish citizens, which installs settlements over territories located beyond its borders, which is leading a war against an occupied and defenceless population, which owns nuclear weapons and has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has been sanctioned a thousand times by the UN, may be helpful to them and for the Palestinians?

  • A final question: if Italy (which has already done so in the past) should carry out a policy of discriminating against its Jewish citizens just as Israel discriminates against its non-Jewish citizens, and should start, unfortunately, a colonial policy again, would you not undertake a struggle against the regime or the government that would behave in such a way?

Now then, why can one not fight a regime, like the Zionist one, that is discriminating, racist and colonialist? No one is suggesting a new Jewish Holocaust; the anti-Zionists want for Jews and Palestinians only one state that is not founded on religion, on ethnicity and racism.

Not differently from what all the authentically democratic States in the world are like.

Mr. President, I just happen to be interested in studying Zionism. Hence, it is on the grounds of my studies about this political ideology that I am writing you. I will remind you of some facts.

First of all, you should be aware of the cooperation that went on between Zionists (from both the right and the left) and anti-Semites and the Nazis. It concerned a long and extremely harmful cooperation to suppress the ideas of the anti-Zionist Jews (at the time, the great majority). As incredible as it may seem, the cooperation between Zionists, fascists, Nazis and anti-Semites, a historical fact, was founded on the logic of criminal exchange to the Jews� detriment. The Zionists backed the fascist and anti-Semitic regimes before and during WWII, while asking in exchange to be allowed to bring Jews to Palestine in order to accomplish their colonial project.

Those Jews who did not approve of fleeing to Palestine were abandoned to their fate. The anti-Semites were very pleased with being able to get rid of Jews in that way. It is not true, as you state, that the anti-Semites are anti-Zionists; if anything, it is the other way around. I hope you will not doubt the words that were uttered by the Israeli writer Yehoshua who declared some year ago: �The Gentiles have always fostered Zionism, thus hoping that it would help them dispose of the Jews living amongst them. Today, too, in a perverse way, a real anti-Semite must be a Zionist.� [1]

The Israeli writer omits to say that the Zionists, too, in a perverse manner, encouraged the anti-Semites in order that they might chase the Jews away from their countries and hand over them to the Zionist militants who were ready to take them to Palestine�s settlements. A true Zionist is a friend to the anti-Semites.

This shameful feature of Zionism�s history starts with its founder himself, Theodor Herzl.

In August 1903, Herzl went to Tsarist Russia for a series of meetings with Count von Plehve, an anti-Semitic minister of Tsar Nicholas II, and with Finance Minister Witte.

The meetings took place less than four months after the heinous pogrom in Kishinev, whose direct responsibility rested on von Plehve himself. Herzl proposed an alliance, it being grounded on the common desire to make most of the Russian Jews abandon Russia and, in the shorter term, to keep the Russian Jews out of the socialist and communist movements.

At the beginning of the first meeting (August 8) von Plehve declared that he regarded himself as �an ardent supporter of Zionism.� When Herzl started describing Zionism�s purpose, Count von Plehve stated : �You are preaching to the converted.�

During a successive meeting with Witte, Zionism�s founder heard the minister openly tell him: �I used to tell poor Emperor Alexander III: if it should be possible to drown six or seven million Jews into the Black Sea, I would be perfectly pleased with that; but it�s not possible, so we have to let them live.� When Herzl said he trusted in some encouragement from the Russian government, Witte replied: �We do give Jews some encouragement to leave, for instance kicks in the backside.� [2]

The outcome of the meetings was von Plehve�s and the Russian government�s promise of �a moral and material endorsement to Zionism at a moment when some of its concrete actions would help decrease the Jewish population in Russia.� [3]

�If we [Zionists],� Jacob Klatzkin used to say, �don�t acknowledge that the others have the right to be anti-Semites, then we deny ourselves the right to be nationalists. If our people is worthy of and yearns for living its own national life, it is natural that it feels like a foreign body forced to be amongst the nations amidst which it lives, a foreign body who insists upon having its own identity and who is therefore compelled to reduce the sphere of its own existence. It is fair therefore that they [the anti-Semites] fight us for their national integrity. Instead of setting up organizations to defend the Jews from the anti-Semites, who want to restrict our rights, we should found organizations to protect the Jews from our friends who wish to defend our rights.� [4]

These words, and the consequent attitude of the Zionists, certainly gave precious arguments to the Nazis who argued precisely that the Jews were a foreign nation in their country.

�To the Zionists,� Harry Sacher, a British Zionist, shamelessly claimed, �the enemy is represented by Liberalism; it is also the enemy to Nazism; ergo, Zionism is supposed to cherish sympathy and comprehension for Nazism, whose anti-Semitism is likely to be only a temporary feature.� [5]

It is not only about political short-sightedness, it is also a criminal cooperation with the Jews� enemy. And, Mr. President, are you willing to close your eyes before this aspect of Zionism�s history? Moreover, I remind you that the Nazis reacted very positively to the Zionists� offers, as proved by this excerpt from one of their memos: �The members from the Zionist organizations do not have to be treated, given their activities aimed at the emigration to Palestine, as severely as instead will be necessary towards the members from the German-Jewish organizations (i.e., the assimilationists).� [6]

Further, Reinhard Heydrich, Hitler�s secret services� chief declared: �It cannot take too much time before Palestine will be able to welcome again its sons it had lost for over one thousand years. May our good wishes and our official benevolence accompany them.� [7]

Settling Palestine was highly favored by the Nazis. You know, colonialists get along well with each other. That is just to remind you that the Nazis, with the help of the Zionists, had struck at only those Jews who proposed to live in the countries they had been born in and did not want to become responsible for Palestine�s occupation and the consequent and inevitable expulsion of the Palestinians.

These Jewish victims were not Zionists, if anything, they were either assimilationists or anti-Zionists.

After the Holocaust, the West did nothing but reward the Zionists by allotting them the Palestinians� land and making those people who had no blame for it pay the high price of the Jews� annihilation that happened due to the direct responsibility of some European nations and to other peoples� disinterest, as well as to the Zionists� crazy plan.

The cooperation between Zionists and Nazis was also possible, beyond the concrete aspect of the common will to bring the Jews to Palestine, because the Zionist ideology and the Nazi shared one point, as admitted by the Zionist Jew Joachim Prinz: �A State founded on the tenet of a nation�s and a race�s purity (that�s Nazi Germany) can have respect only for those Jews who regard themselves in the same way.� [8]

Prinz was aware of the paradoxical situation that was emerging and acknowledged: �Taking actions was very awkward to the Zionists. It was morally embarrassing to look as if they were considered as the dearest sons of the Nazi government, particularly at a moment when it was dissolving the Jewish anti-Zionist youth groups and it seemed to prefer the Zionists. The Nazis were demanding a �more consistently Zionist behaviour.�� [9]

Notwithstanding, the cooperation went on. It was a multiform cooperation that I have reconstructed in my essay, �Zionism�s Nature� [10]. I want to remind you, lastly, the exhortation of Dov Joseph, one of the heads from the Jewish Agency, who, at the end of 1944, when hundreds of thousands of Jews were being killed in the concentration camps, while speaking in Palestine to Zionist journalists, who were concerned about the news of the slaughter, warned them about the risk of: � . . . publishing data that exaggerates the number of the Jewish victims, since if we announce that a million Jews have been slain by the Nazis, then, after the end of the war, we will rightly be asked where the million Jews for which we are claiming a homeland have ended up.� [11]

All this may be enough, but, Mr. President, I dare suggest you read up on the topic.

Zionism�s history is a criminal one, therefore, it is no wonder that the Zionists and the Zionist State are keeping on handling the Palestinians so savagely. But my concern goes beyond the Palestinian people�s very sad situation that everyone seems to be forgetting.

To be honest, Mr. President, do we want to end up like the US in Iraq? Today, outstanding personalities in the US, such as former President Jimmy Carter and professors Mearsheimer and Walt, are trying hard to make their fellow countrymen open their own eyes before the aftermath of the blind foreign policy that has been devised in Tel Aviv and in Washington�s neo-con Zionist circles and that is being carried out by the US in the Middle East.

Do you believe that the aggression in Iraq was carried out because of Saddam�s weapons of mass destruction? Because of the threat that Iraq embodied to the West? For the exportation of democracy? For the Americans� oil interests? Many support this last hypothesis; the other ones miserably collapsed. I wonder can one not buy oil on the open market? Moreover, how much would the price of oil be if we should wage war on every country that produces it?

Mr. President, the aggression has been waged in order to weed out a possible rival to Israel and to strengthen the Zionist rule over the Middle East. Now Tel Aviv is urging the West to destroy Iran and is blackmailing everyone by dropping the hint that if we do not do the job, Israel will do it. How? By invading Iran? No, Mr. President, we all know that Israel would resort to its nuclear weaponry.

The Americans are beginning to become aware of what it means to have let themselves be dragged into an absurd war in Iraq for Israel�s interests. Do we really want to be dragged into a nuclear war against Iran? Into a world war against Islam?

Please, follow former President Carter�s example and make a public statement against Israel�s Apartheid. If you do not want to do that, let someone else, for the sake of humanity, of the Jews and of the Palestinians, go on blaming Zionism and fighting for a single, democratic and pacific state for all the inhabitants of Palestine, nobody excluded.

Mr. President, you are likely not to remember me, yet we met and spoke to each other. It happened due to a very sad circumstance. Some years ago, at Rome-Fiumicino airport, you, as a representative of your party, came to express solidarity to my sister, Marisa, who, after taking part in a pacifist demonstration in Jerusalem, lost one of her eyes after an Israeli fire engine had sprayed such a violent water jet as to shatter the window glass and to drive a splinter into her eye, just because she was looking through the window at the Israeli policemen who were beating up a Palestinian youngster in the street.

At the time, you came to offer your regards to my sister who had paid for upholding the rights and the dignity of the Palestinians. Today, by your unacceptable declaration you are accusing the anti-Zionists, many of whom are Jews, who strive for a democratic state in Palestine, being the same as the filthy anti-Semites.

I believe, Mr President, that the Zionists have managed to do something worse to you than to my sister. They have managed to make her blind in one eye, but you are blind in both of them!


1. Jewish Chronicle, 22 January 1982.

2. Maxime Rodinson, Peuple juif ou probl�me juif? Parigi, Petite collection Maspero, 1981, pp. 174-75.

3. Maxime Rodinson, Peuple juif ou probl�me juif? cit. p. 174.

4. Jacob Klatzkin, (1925), quoted in Jacob Agus, The Meaning of Jewish History, in Jewish Encyclopedia, vol II, p. 425.

5. Harry Sacher, Jewish Review, September 1932, p. 104, London.

6. Circular from the Bavarian Gestapo addressed to the Bavarian police, 23 January, 1935, published in Kurt Grossman�s Zionists and Non-Zionists under Nazi Rule in the 1930's, Herzl Yearbook, vol VI, p. 340.

7. Reinhardt Heyndrich, SS secret services� chief, The Visible Enemy, article issued in Das Schwarze Korps, SS�s official organ, May 1935.

8. Joachim Prinz, (1936), quoted in Benyamin Matuvo�s The Zionist Wish and the Nazi Deed, Issues, (1966/67), p. 12.

9. Joachim Prinz, Zionism under the Nazi Government, in Young Zionist, London, November 1937, p. 18.

10. Zionism�s Nature, supplement to the issue 56, November 2006, by Aginform.

11. Yoav Gelber, Zionist Policy and the Fate of European Jewry, p. 195.

Translated from Italian by Diego Traversa. Mauro Manno is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation is on Copyleft and may be reproduced freely by citing the source and translator.

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