Giuseppe Conte delivered the speech at the Great Synagogue of Rome before several hundred Jewish students and young professionals from the Former Soviet Union.

BY ROSSELLA TERCATIN | The Jerusalem Post | Giuseppe Conte speaking at the Great Synagogue of Rome. (photo credit: GOVERNO ITALIANO – PRESIDENZA DEL CONSIGLIO DEI MINISTRI)

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called antisemitism the suicide of the European people, Italian Jewish newspaper Pagine Ebraiche reported on Thursday.

“Antisemitism, antisemitism in the past as well as today, is a suicide of the European man,” Conte said speaking at the Great Synagogue of Rome, where he was welcomed by the President of the Jewish Community Ruth Dureghello, and the Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni.

“When a European man despises or rejects the Jewish people, they despise and reject themselves and deny an essential part of their identity,” he added. 

The prime minister delivered a speech in front of an audience of several hundred Jewish students and young professionals from the Former Soviet Union, who are on a trip to the Italian capital accompanied by the Italian born Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar.

The trip is part of the project Yachad that every year sends a delegation of young Jews from the FSU to visit a different European city and then Auschwitz.

“We have to be on the alert against the resurgence of forms of implicit or explicit antisemitism”, Conte also said. “The collective loss of reason that we experienced in the last century has not been chased away forever. Unfortunately, we must acknowledge that in many European countries including Italy, including in this very city, episodes of reprehensible violence still occurr.”

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