4-25-02 - Columnist Oriana Fallaci: On Jew-Hatred in Europe [Originally published
in Italian in the Panorama magazine, April 17, 2002 ]
I find it shameful that in Italy there should be a procession of individuals dressed as
suicide bombers who spew vile abuse at Israel, hold up photographs of Israeli leaders on
whose foreheads they have drawn the swastika, incite people to hate the Jews. And who, in
order to see Jews once again in the extermination camps, in the gas chambers, in the ovens
of Dachau and Mauthausen and Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen et cetera, would sell their own
mother to a harem.
I find it shameful that the Catholic Church should permit a bishop, one with lodgings in
the Vatican no less, a saintly man who was found in Jerusalem with an arsenal of arms and
explosives hidden in the secret compartments of his sacred Mercedes, to participate in
that procession and plant himself in front of a microphone to thank in the name of God the
suicide bombers who massacre the Jews in pizzerias and supermarkets. To call them
"martyrs who go to their deaths as to a party."
I find it shameful that in France, the France of Liberty-Equality- Fraternity, they burn
synagogues, terrorize Jews, profane their cemeteries.
I find it shameful that the youth of Holland and Germany and Denmark flaunt the kaffiah
just as Mussolini's avant garde used to flaunt the club and the fascist badge.
I find it shameful that in nearly all the universities of Europe Palestinian students
sponsor and nurture anti-Semitism. That in Sweden they asked that the Nobel Peace Prize
given to Shimon Peres in 1994 be taken back and conferred on the dove with the olive
branch in his mouth, that is on Arafat.
I find it shameful that the distinguished members of the Committee, a Committee that (it
would appear) rewards political color rather than merit, should take this request into
consideration and even respond to it. In hell the Nobel Prize honors he who does not
I find it shameful (we're back in Italy) that state-run television stations contribute to
the resurgent anti-Semitism, crying only over Palestinian deaths while playing down
Israeli deaths, glossing over them in unwilling tones. I find it shameful that in their
debates they host with much deference the scoundrels with turban or kaffiah who yesterday
sang hymns to the slaughter at New York and today sing hymns to the slaughters at
Jerusalem, at Haifa, at Netanya, at Tel Aviv.
I find it shameful that the press does the same, that it is indignant because Israeli
tanks surround the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, that it is not indignant because
inside that same church two hundred Palestinian terrorists well armed with machine guns
and munitions and explosives (among
them are various leaders of Hamas and Al-Aqsa) are not unwelcome guests of the monks (who
then accept bottles of mineral water and jars of honey from the soldiers of those tanks).
I find it shameful that, in giving the number of Israelis killed since the beginning of
the Second Intifada (four hundred twelve), a noted daily newspaper found it appropriate to
underline in capital letters that more people are killed in their traffic accidents. (Six
hundred a year).
I find it shameful that the Roman Observer, the newspaper of the Pope- -a Pope who not
long ago left in the Wailing Wall a letter of apology for the Jews--accuses of
extermination a people who were exterminated in the millions by Christians. By Europeans.
I find it shameful that this newspaper denies to the survivors of that people (survivors
who still have numbers tattooed on their arms) the right to react, to defend themselves,
to not be exterminated again.
I find it shameful that in the name of Jesus Christ (a Jew without whom they would all be
unemployed), the priests of our parishes or Social Centers or whatever they are flirt with
the assassins of those in Jerusalem who cannot go to eat a pizza or buy some eggs without
being blown up.
I find it shameful that they are on the side of the very ones who inaugurated terrorism,
killing us on airplanes, in airports, at the Olympics, and who today entertain themselves
by killing western journalists. By shooting them, abducting them, cutting their throats,
decapitating them. (There's someone in Italy who, since the appearance of Anger and Pride,
would like to do the same to me. Citing verses of the Koran he exhorts his
"brothers" in the mosques and the Islamic Community to chastise me in the name
of Allah. To kill me. Or rather to die with me. Since he's someone who
speaks English well, I'll respond to him in English: "Fuck you.")
I find it shameful that almost all of the left, the left that twenty years ago permitted
one of its union processionals to deposit a coffin (as a Mafioso warning) in front of the
synagogue of Rome, forgets the contribution made by the Jews to the fight against fascism.
Made by Carlo and Nello Rossini, for example, by Leone Ginzburg, by Umberto Terracini, by
Leo Valiani, by Emilio Sereni, by women like my friend Anna Maria Enriques Agnoletti who
was shot at Florence on June 12, 1944, by seventy-five of the three-hundred- thirty-five
people killed at the Fosse Ardeatine, by the infinite others killed under torture or in
combat or before firing squads. (The companions, the teachers, of my infancy and my
I find it shameful that in part through the fault of the left--or rather, primarily
through the fault of the left (think of the left that inaugurates its congresses
applauding the representative of the PLO, leader in Italy of the Palestinians who want the
destruction of Israel)-Jews in Italian cities are once again afraid. And in French cities
and Dutch cities and Danish cities and German cities, it is the same.
I find it shameful that Jews tremble at the passage of the scoundrels dressed like suicide
bombers just as they trembled during Krystallnacht, the night in which Hitler gave free
rein to the Hunt of the Jews.
I find it shameful that in obedience to the stupid, vile, dishonest, and for them
extremely advantageous fashion of Political Correctness the usual opportunists--or better
the usual parasites--exploit the word Peace. That in the name of the word Peace, by now
more debauched than the words Love and Humanity, they absolve one side alone of its hate
and bestiality. That in the name of a pacifism (read conformism) delegated to the singing
crickets and buffoons who used to lick Pol Pot's feet they incite people who are confused
or ingenuous or intimidated. Trick them, corrupt them, carry them back a half century to
the time of the yellow star on the coat. These charlatans who care about the Palestinians
as much as I care about thecharlatans. That is not at all.
I find it shameful that many Italians and many Europeans have chosen as their
standard-bearer the gentleman (or so it is polite to say) Arafat. This nonentity who
thanks to the money of the Saudi Royal Family plays the Mussolini ad perpetuum and in his
megalomania believes he will pass into History as the George Washington of Palestine. This
ungrammatical wretch who when I interviewed him was unable even to put together a complete
sentence, to make articulate conversation. So that to put it all together, write it,
publish it, cost me a tremendous effort and I concluded that compared to him even Ghaddafi
sounds like Leonardo da Vinci. This false warrior who always goes around in uniform like
Pinochet, never putting on civilian garb, and yet despite this has never participated in a
battle. War is something he sends, has always sent, others to do for him. That is, the
poor souls who believe in him. This pompous incompetent who playing the part of Head of
State caused the failure of the Camp David negotiations, Clinton's mediation.
No-no-I-want-Jerusalem-all-to-myself. This eternal liar who has a flash of sincerity only
when (in private) he denies Israel's right to exist, and who as I say in my book
contradicts himself every five minutes. He always plays the double-cross, lies even if you
ask him what time it is, so that you can never trust him. Never! With him you will always
wind up systematically betrayed. This eternal terrorist who knows only how to be a
terrorist (while keeping himself safe) and who during the Seventies, that is when I
interviewed him, even trained the terrorists of Baader-Meinhof. With them, children ten
years of age. Poor children. (Now he trains them to become suicide bombers. A hundred baby
suicide bombers are in the works: a hundred!). This weathercock who keeps his wife at
Paris, served and revered like a queen, and keeps his people down in the shit. He takes
them out of the shit only to send them to die, to kill and to die, like the
eighteen-year-old girls who in order to earn equality with men have to strap on explosives
and disintegrate with their victims. And yet many Italians love him, yes. Just like they
loved Mussolini. And many other Europeans do
I find it shameful and see in all this the rise of a new fascism, a new Nazism. A fascism,
a nazism, that much more grim and revolting because it is conducted and nourished by those
who hypocritically pose as do-gooders, progressives, communists, pacifists, Catholics or
rather Christians, and who have the gall to label a warmonger anyone like me who screams
the truth. I see it, yes, and I say the following. I have never been tender with the
tragic and Shakespearean figure Sharon. ("I know you've come to add another scalp to
your necklace," he murmured almost with sadness when I went to interview him in
1982.) I have often had disagreements with the Israelis, ugly ones, and in the past I have
defended the Palestinians a great deal. Maybe more than they deserved.
But I stand with Israel, I stand with the Jews. I stand just as I stood as a young girl
during the time when I fought with them, and when the Anna Marias were shot. I defend
their right to exist, to defend themselves, to not let themselves be exterminated a second
time. And disgusted by the anti-Semitism of many Italians, of many Europeans, I am ashamed
of this shame that dishonors my Country and Europe. At best, it is not a community of
States, but a pit of Pontius Pilates. And even if all the inhabitants of this planet were
to think otherwise, I would continue to think so.
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