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Italian philosopher politician slammed as anti-Semite

Grillo denies Vattimo's candidacy with 5-Star Movement

17 January, 17:58
Italian philosopher politician slammed as anti-Semite (ANSA) - Rome, January 17 - An interview with an Italian philosopher and politician who expressed ''anti-Zionist'' views on Friday sparked outcry from Italy's Jewish community.

Gianni Vattimo told Il Corriere della Sera in an interview published Friday that he is ''anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic'' and that he does not believe in ''the idea of a Jewish-Masonic plot''. The two-time European Parliament member said, however, that he believed the creation of "the state of Israel was the beginning of ruin".

Vattimo added, "Let's remember that the Federal Reserve is owned by Rothschild and Rockefeller".

Israeli Ambassador to Italy Naor Gilon rebuked Vattimo in a letter, writing, "You think you express an anti-Zionist position, but in fact reveal yourself to be a true anti-Semite".

"You belong to the ranks of those people who are anti-Semite by definition, but maintain that they can hide behind the more politically correct definition of 'anti-Zionist'," Gilon went on, and invited Vattimo to participate in Holocaust Memorial Day in Italy on January 27.

"I strongly advise you to participate in one of these (Holocaust memorial) events to learn something". The president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) also condemned Vattimo.

"Vattimo goes back to proudly claim his ravings of preconceived hostility at the existence of the state of Israel," wrote Renzo Gattegna.

Gattegna called Vattimo's comments "words of hatred that don't add anything new and are accompanied by the squalid reproposal of anti-Semitic stereotypes". Vattimo's announcement that he was joining the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) on Friday was denied by the group's leader, ex-comedian Beppe Grillo.

Grillo said Vattimo was "neither a candidate nor proposable as a candidate".