A proposed law at the Italian Parliament is set to punish the boycott of Israel. In the past, such an initiative would have been unthinkable. Alas, Italy, a country that had historic sympathies with the Palestinian cause, has shifted its politics in a dramatic way in recent years. Most surprisingly, though, the Left is as implicated as the Right in the rush to please Israel, at the expense of Palestinian rights.
The sad reality is this: Italy is moving to the Israeli camp. This is not only pertinent to political alignment, but in the reconfiguration of discourse as well. Israeli priorities, as articulated in Zionist hasbara (official propaganda) have now become part of our everyday lexicon of Italian media and politics. As a result, the Zionist agenda is now part and parcel of Italian political agenda as well.
Italy’s anti-Fascist, anti-military occupation and revolutionary past is being overlooked by self-serving politicians, growingly beholden to the pressures of a burgeoning pro-Israel lobby.
During the so-called “First Republic” (1948 to 1992), Italy was considered the Western European country most sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle, not only because of a widespread feeling of solidarity among Italians, but also because of the political environment at the time.
Then, Italian leaders were perfectly aware of the country’s unique position in the Mediterranean area. While they were keen on displaying loyalty to the Atlantic…