Dramatic rise of antisemitic incidents in Italy since Hamas massacre

The Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center recorded 71 antisemitic incidents since Hamas killed over 1,300 Israelis on October 7.

On average, around 250 antisemitic incidents are reported in Italy every year, according to the archive.

“We haven’t seen this level of antisemitism in Italy at least for the past decade,” said Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, president of the Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center.

“It’s an increase both in quantity and seriousness,” Luzzatto Voghera said. “In the past, we would get around 20 reports per month, most of them about incidents that occur online. Now, that number is more than doubled and we’re seeing a big increase in real-life incidents.”

The Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) said it had raised the security level at its events.

“We’re fully aware that verbal threats can turn into physical threats, so we’re taking precautions – but we also want to avoid panic,” said UCEI President Noemi Di Segni.

“We’re concerned but not afraid. Jewish life is going on as usual,” she added, but noted that within the community, “there is anger and a bit of fatigue” about the spike in antisemitic incidents.

Di Segni concurred with Luzzatto Voghera that Italy is not witnessing the same level of antisemitism as France and Germany, but said there is something particularly insidious about the specific kind of anti-Jewish sentiment she’s seeing growing in Italy.

“Whereas in other European countries there are more incidents, they tend to come from specific sectors of society such as radicalized Islamists. But in Italy, they come from more mainstream areas of civil society. It’s a lighter form of hatred, perhaps, but it can spread more easily,” she said.

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