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Italian Jewish leaders condemn parliament president for honoring neo-Fascist party

(JTA) — Jewish leaders in Italy had strong words for the president of the country’s parliament after he published a post on Instagram honoring the history of the Italian Social Movement, or MSI, a neo-fascist party founded in the wake of World War II. 

Ignazio la Russa, a senator from Cologno Monzese, a municipality in Milan, wrote alongside a picture of an MSI campaign poster: “In memory of my father, who was one of the founders of the Italian Social Movement in Sicily and who chose the path of free and democratic participation with the MSI throughout his life in defense of his ideas respectful of the Italian Constitution.”

Leaders within Italy’s Jewish community were dismayed by his decision to link MSI to the post-World War II Italian constitution. The ascendance of far-right leaders who have expressed nostalgia for the fascist period in Italy — which nearly spelled the near destruction of Italian Jewry — has Italy’s present-day Jewish community worried.

“Today we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the promulgation of the Republican Constitution, the affirmation of our anti-fascist democracy,” Noemi Di Segni, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, said on Tuesday in an op-ed in La Repubblica. “Yet there are those who believe they are celebrating another anniversary, that of the foundation of the MSI, a party which, after the fall of the fascist regime, placed itself in ideological and political continuity with the RSI, the government of diehard fascists who actively collaborated for the deportation of Italian Jews.”

Ruth Dureghello, president of the Jewish Community of Rome, wrote a critical statement of her own.

“The Italian Republic is anti-fascist and when one swears on the Constitution, it should be done knowing that there can no longer be ambiguity or inconsistency in this matter,” she wrote. “The Social Movement claimed the experience of the RSI [Fascist Italy under Mussolini], while for Italians the only model to aspire to is that of the anti-fascist movements which with their sacrifice have freed Italy from the Nazi-fascist yoke.”

La Russa took office as Senate president in October, after the victory of a right-wing coalition gave his Brothers of Italy (FDI) party a plurality in the senate and made Giorgia Meloni prime minister.

Though La Russa founded FDI alongside Meloni in 2012, he spent much of his early career in politics as a part of MSI — which was co-founded by his father in 1946 — until its dissolution in 1995. For most of its history, MSI branded itself as the defender of Italy’s fascist history, even long after the death of dictator Benito Musolini. 

FDI is seen by many as MSI’s successor in Italy, even incorporating the defunct party’s tri-color flame in its own logo. 

‘With all due respect to his family affections, the honorable La Russa has not yet understood that he is the President of the Senate of the anti-fascist Republic and not the head of the youth organization of the MSI. His post is a disgrace to democratic institutions,” said Gianfranco Pagliarulo, national president of ANPI, an organization devoted to veterans of Italy’s anti-fascist resistance, according to La Pressa.

Meloni was also linked to the MSI in her early years in politics. Critics say she has emboldened fascist sympathizers, and last month photos of one of her appointed ministers wearing a Nazi armband over a decade ago sparked controversy.

“Faced with the prospect of a prime minister that is affiliated with a party that ideologically is the heir of the Italian Social Movement, a good part of Italian Jews are concerned,” David Fiorentini, president of Italy’s Jewish Youth group, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in September.

Nonetheless, Meloni has attempted to make overtures to the Jewish community. In November, she met with the World Jewish Congress as well as Italian Jewish Leaders, where she discussed antisemitism and, according to her office, gave a statement which “underlined the essential importance of Jewish communities for the Italian and European national identity.”

Like other far-right leaders in Europe, she has frequently pointed to her support of the state of Israel and compared herself and FDI to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party.


The post Italian Jewish leaders condemn parliament president for honoring neo-Fascist party appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Obituaries

Dr. NATHAN WISEMAN

Wiseman, Nathan Elliot
1944 – 2023
Nathan, our beloved husband, Dad, and Zaida, died unexpectedly on December 13, 2023. Nathan was born on December 16, 1944, in Winnipeg, MB, the eldest of Sam and Cissie Wiseman’s three children.
He is survived by his loving wife Eva; children Sam (Natalie) and Marni (Shane); grandchildren Jacob, Jonah, Molly, Isabel, Nicole, and Poppy; brother David (Sherrill); sister Barbara (Ron); sister-in-law Agi (Sam) and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Nathan grew up in the north end of Winnipeg surrounded by his loving family. He received his MD from the University of Manitoba in 1968, subsequently completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Manitoba and went on to complete a fellowship in Paediatric Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard University. His surgeon teachers and mentors were world renowned experts in the specialty, and even included a Nobel prize winner.
His practice of Paediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg spanned almost half a century. He loved his profession and helping patients, even decades later often recounting details about the many kiddies on whom he had operated. Patients and their family members would commonly approach him on the street and say, “Remember me Dr. Wiseman?”. And he did! His true joy was caring for his patients with compassion, patience, unwavering commitment, and excellence. He was a gifted surgeon and leaves a profound legacy. He had no intention of ever fully retiring and operated until his very last day. He felt privileged to have the opportunity to mentor, support and work with colleagues, trainees, nurses, and others health care workers that enriched his day-to-day life and brought him much happiness and fulfillment. He was recognized with many awards and honors throughout his career including serving as Chief of Surgery of Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, President of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, and as a Governor of the American College of Surgeons. Most importantly of all he helped and saved the lives of thousands and thousands of Manitoba children. His impact on the generations of children he cared for, and their families, is truly immeasurable.
Nathan’s passion for golf was ignited during his childhood summers spent at the Winnipeg Beach Golf Course. Southwood Golf and Country Club has been his second home since 1980. His game was excellent and even in his last year he shot under his age twice! He played an honest “play as it lies” game. His golf buddies were true friends and provided him much happiness both on and off the course for over forty years. However, his passion for golf extended well beyond the eighteenth hole. He immersed himself in all aspects of the golf including collecting golf books, antiques, and memorabilia. He was a true scholar of the game, reading golf literature, writing golf poetry, and even rebuilding and repairing antique golf clubs. Unquestionably, his knowledge and passion for the game was limitless.
Nathan approached his many woodworking and workshop projects with zeal and creativity, and he always had many on the go. During the winter he was an avid curler, and in recent years he also enjoyed the study of Yiddish. Nathan never wasted any time and lived his life to the fullest.
Above all, Nathan was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, father-in-law, son-in-law, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, and granduncle. He loved his family and lived for them, and this love was reciprocated. He met his wife Eva when he was a 20-year-old medical student, and she was 18 years old. They were happily married for 56 years. They loved each other deeply and limitlessly and were proud of each other’s accomplishments. He loved the life and the family they created together. Nathan was truly the family patriarch, an inspiration and a mentor to his children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and many others. He shared his passion for surgery and collecting with his son and was very proud to join his daughter’s medical practice (he loved Thursdays). His six grandchildren were his pride and joy and the centre of his world.
Throughout his life Nathan lived up to the credo “May his memory be a blessing.” His life was a blessing for the countless newborns, infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers who he cared for, for his colleagues, for his friends and especially for his family. We love him so much and there are no words to describe how much he will be missed.
A graveside funeral was held at the Shaarey Zedek cemetery on December 15, 2023. Pallbearers were his loving grandchildren. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun Herzlia Congregation.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, in the name of Dr. Nathan Wiseman.

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Bill Maher tells it like it is when it comes to what “the river to the sea” really means

Bill Maher cuts to the chase like no one else. Here’s a link to a segment from the most recent episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” where he exposes the total hypocrisy of the “useful idiots” everywhere chanting “from the river to the sea”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP-CRXROorw

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Jewish community holds solidarity rally November 25

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A number of speakers addressed the crowd of 800, including Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun-Herzlia Congregation; Members of Parliament Ben Carr & Marty Morantz; Yolanda Papini-Pollock of Winnipeg Friends of Israel; Paula McPherson, former Brock Corydon teacher; and Gustavo Zentner, President of the Jewish Federation.

Ben Carr

Click here to watch Ben Carr’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crfREGNRKfg

Marty Morantz

Click here to watch a video of Marty Morantz’s remarks: https://studio.youtube.com/video/zHzC-iaqivg/ed

Gustavo Zentner

Click here to watch a video of Gustavo Zentner’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3M_cCYuLgs

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