Rabbi Haim Fabrizio Cipriani, 52, was threatened with a screwdriver by a homeless man who screamed antisemitic insults. Among other things, the attacker, who was promptly arrested, yelled: “Go away, you dirty Zionist, otherwise I’ll open the door for you.”
“I am very shocked, but I am not surprised,” Rabbi Cipriani told The Republic, citing an increase in antisemitic attack globally after the start of Israel’s war against Hamas, “As a Jew, I know that these situations can occur.”
Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) as well as European Jewish Congress have expressed their solidarity with Rabbi Cipriani. “The rabbi was insulted and threatened solely because he was Jewish and wearing a kippah while walking on the street,” said the European Jewish Congress’ statement.
Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, President of the Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center in Milan said earlier in November: “We haven’t seen this level of antisemitism in Italy at least for the past decade. 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.”
“It’s not unusual to have spikes of antisemitic incidents – for instance, around Holocaust Remembrance Day or when a Jewish public figure speaks, but this level of overt antisemitism is both alarming and new,” he said.