Thursday, January 27th | 25 Shevat 5782

December 12, 2021 4:37 pm

Double-Edged Antisemitism

avatar by Fiamma Nirenstein /


PLO leader leader Yasser Arafat. Photo: World Economic Forum. – The Oct. 9, 1982 Palestinian terrorist attack on the Great Synagogue of Rome, in which killed two-year-old Stefano Gaj Tachè was killed, and the blood of 37 others who were wounded flowed on the stones of the building that should have been the safest refuge for Jews in the Italian capital, was a double slap in the face — not only by the murderers, but by those who didn’t lift a finger to defend their victims.

According to a front-page story last week in the left-leaning Italian daily, Il Riformista, Italian authorities had been warned that an attack against Jews or Israelis was being planned. Though documents cited in the story show that Francesco Cossiga — prime minister of the Italian Republic from 1979-1980, and president from 1985-1992 — had decried it at the time, numerous documents from more than fifteen years ago show that no one ever bothered to investigate the matter further. The implication is that there had been a political agreement between former Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti and Palestinian organizations, which had requested that they be given a free hand against Jews and Israelis on Italian soil in exchange for a vow not to assault “innocent” Italians (i.e. non-Jews).

Though such a promise meant nothing, as Palestinian terrorists hadn’t taken into account the identity of “innocent” Italians when they attacked Rome’s Fiumicino airport in 1973 (killing 34); the 1985 highjacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro; or the 1985 twin attacks on the Rome and Vienna airports (killing 19).

Nevertheless, it was clear that Jewish blood was still a bargaining chip, even after the not-so-distant Holocaust, and after the Ghetto of Rome had been marked forever by the deportations of 1943. Indeed, the above terrorist attacks were simply part and parcel of the “next round.” And the same were once again stained with Jewish blood.

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