Op-Ed: Who is A7 Op-ed Writer Giulio Meotti?
Dr. Manfred GerstenfeldThe writer has been a long-term adviser on strategy issues to the boards of several major multinational corporations in Europe and North America.He is board member and former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and recipient of the LIfetime Achievement Award (2012) of the Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism.
“Tiny Israel should matter greatly to the Western world, as it has become the most imperiled member of our civilization. The Jewish condition today is again the focal point of huge identity battles. Judaism is the source of humanity, law, morality, democracy, and thus, a beacon of hope for all. This is the most important single defining issue of our time. I wonder what will happen to other democracies if Israel goes under.
“The national rebirth in its original homeland of a people threatened with extinction for three thousand years should represent – especially in the eyes of Western civilization – a promise of redemption for all humanity. This is the more so since this people’s arid and small country – on the borders between survival and destruction – is in the middle of a region that violently contests its right to exist. One does not have to be Jewish to understand that.”
Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist and author. He holds a degree in Philosophy and is an editor at the daily Il Foglio. In 2010, he published A New Shoah, The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism.
“There were several reasons that I wrote The New Shoah. I believe in Western values and thus in the safety of the State of Israel. I am writing from Europe, a continent that is witnessing a major wave of monstrous new and radical anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of Israel's right to exist.
"This signals the risk of a major avalanche in Western society and perhaps even its fall. I also had a mission: rescuing Israeli victims from oblivion, giving them a name and a place by saving their stories.
“I spent six years tracking down Israeli witnesses to terrorist atrocities between 1994 and 2010, the so called ‘Oslo wars’. I interviewed people who survived attacks as well as family members of victims who did not.
"I experienced very difficult moments and even thought about abandoning the project. It was a labor of six years of relentless determination, loneliness and perhaps, obsessive moral commitment.
“I did not write A New Shoah as an archival reminder, but rather as the reliving of a smaller-scale Shoah. This was not the genocide of millions of people killed merely because they were Jews living in Europe, but the murder of many individuals killed because they were Jews living in Israel.
"It is an immense black hole that in fifteen years has swallowed up 1,557 innocent men, women and children and left more than 17,000 injured. I offer this book as a memorial chant for the martyred Jews which will transmit Israel's story to future generations. It is a rare document and I hope one will read these stories repeatedly in the next decades toward the celebration of Israel’s centennial anniversary.
“I knew I was going to pay a heavy price for publishing such a book. Nowadays to mention Israel in Italy in friendly tones, especially in journalistic and academic circles, is to risk facing a firestorm of condemnations. Or worse, personal attacks. I was called an ‘agent of Israel, ‘a hardcore Zionist dumba,’ ‘despicable,’ ‘right-wing garbage,’ ‘Shylock’ and so on.
"A photo with my face and the Star of David impressed on it was published on Arab internet sites. I received threatening emails like: ‘Dear feces-eating insect, continue to scratch around the Zionist dung, the hasbara will give you thirty coins.’
"But I remain proud of the work I do. My son and this book are the main justifications of my existence.
“The daily Il Foglio which I write for has a small circulation, but all key people in Italian society read it. It is the only pro-Israel newspaper in Italy.
"During the Second Intifada in the worst months of 2002, Palestinian suicide murderers attacked Israeli hotels, shopping malls restaurants, etc. They killed hundreds of innocent people. Il Foglio then called for a rally in Rome in favor of Israel. Thousands of people, many waving Israeli flags, gathered at sunset at Rome's City Hall atop the Capitoline Hill and made their way along the river Tiber to the main synagogue.
“Some held banners saying: ‘We’re With Israel.’ Other marchers placed pebbles around the synagogue, a gesture recalling the Jewish custom of marking a grave. Israeli flags flew from windows in the neighborhood. Il Foglio made all this possible and fought a historic battle in favor of truth, justice and the honor of the West, to which Israel belongs.
“In 2005, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the first time called to remove the State of Israel from the map. Il Foglio’s editor Giuliano Ferrara appealed for a public protest, saying that Italians should demonstrate ‘to defend the right of Israel to exist.’ This time the demonstration was in front of Iran’s embassy in Rome. Politicians from the left and right took part. It was a wonderful night. Israel and the Jews knew that they were not alone.”
That is Giulio Meotti - in a nutshell.