A mass rally-demonstration entitled “For the truth, for Israel” will be held in Rome this Thursday. It is being organized by Fiamma Nirenstein – journalist, MP, and vice president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies – and other leading European personalities. MK Nirenstein forwarded the information about the rally to IsraelNationalNews.
The rally will be held at the Temple of Hadrian (Tempio di Adriano), Piazza di Pietra, on Thursday, October 7 at 6:00 PM. Ironically, it was the Roman Emperor Hadrian who, late in his reign, suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judea in 145 C.E., and renamed the province Syria Palestina.
The rally is billed as "the first European, bipartisan event aimed at restoring the truth regarding Israel, putting an end to the barrage of lies that are hurled at Israel every day and to the double standard used by the media and international organizations." More than 80 personalities, politicians, intellectuals, artists and journalists from all over Europe are registered to take the floor for a maximum of five minutes each. Opening the event will be former Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar, president of “Friends of Israel."
In addition to MP Nirenstein, other promoters of the initiative are Giuliano Ferrara, editor in chief of "Il Foglio" daily; French philosopher Shmuel Trigano; Dutch MEP Bastiaan Belder (Epp); former German MP Gert Weisskirchen (Spd); president of the Jewish Community of Rome Riccardo Pacifici; professor and writer Giorgio Israel; journalists Giuseppe Caldarola, Angelo Pezzana, Daniele Scalise, Carlo Panella; producer of musical events David Zard; and Anita Friedman, president of “Appuntamento a Gerusalemme."
Among those who have joined the initiative are the following Members of the European Parliament: Hannu Takkula (Finland), Marco Scurria (Italy), Bastiaan Belder (NL), Corina Cretu (Romania), Pablo Arias (Spain), Magdi Cristiano Allam (Italy), and Antonio Lopez Istùriz (Spain).
Still others who have joined include Nobel Prize and Senator for life Rita Levi Montalcini; professor and Senator Umberto Veronesi; Israeli Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yosef Kuperwasser; Israel's Vice PM Silvan Shalom; Yuli Edelstein, Israel's Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs; Franco Frattini, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs; Bruce Bawer, author of "While Europe Slept"; Melanie Phillips, journalist; Phyllis Chesler, professor emerita of psychology and women' studies at the College of Staten Island; writer Roberto Saviano, author of "Gomorrah"; Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN; Amir Fakhravar, Iranian dissident in exile; Farid Ghadry, President of Syrian Reform Party; Russian Senator Vladimir Sloutsker; Tomas Sandell, Director of the European Coalition for Israel (Finland); Mara Carfagna, Italian Minister for Equal Opportunities; Renato Brunetta, Italian Minister of Public Administration; Gideon Meir, Israeli Ambassador to Italy; writers Nicolai Lilin and Rosa Matteucci; singers Lucio Dalla, Massimo Ranieri, Chiara Iezzi, Raiz (ex "Almamegretta"); Israeli historian Benny Morris; film director Cristina Comencini; Giorgio Albertazzi; film producer Riccardo Tozzi (Cattleya); Davood Karimi, President of Association of Iranian Political Refugees in Italy; Dounia Ettaib, President of Arab Women in Italy; editors in chief of the newspapers, "Libero" (Maurizio Belpietro), "Il Tempo" (Mario Sechi), "L'Occidentale" (Giancarlo Loquenzi), "Il Riformista" (Antonio Polito), “Libertiamo.it” (Carmelo Palma); journalists Paolo Mieli, Massimo Bordin, Giulio Meotti, Toni Capuozzo, Alain Elkann, Ernesto Galli Della Loggia, Maria Latella, Pierluigi Battista, Barbara Palombelli; many MPs from all the political parties, among them: Walter Veltroni, Furio Colombo, Enrico Pianetta, Francesco Rutelli, Italo Bocchino, Gianni Vernetti, Benedetto Della Vedova, Giovanna Melandri, Fabrizio Cicchitto, Ferdinando Adornato, Gaetano Quagliariello, Margherita Boniver, and many others.
The organizers say that the "de-legitimization of Israel comes from all latitudes and without any restraints. Israel, the most openly threatened country in the world, is condemned by the international institutions and media for whatever it does, whether it is seeking to defend itself from terrorist attacks, trying to stop the supply of weapons to Gaza, or simply doing the normal activities that any democratic country does."
They add that Israel's "scientific, cultural, social, economic, and sport achievements are constantly boycotted, even with violence. The double standard is the normal standard applied to Israel: the UN, dedicating to it 80% of its resolutions, condemns Israel at every step, while countries that systematically violate human rights and commit massacres, are never punished."
"But a large part of the public opinion is tired of this lie," the organizers state. "The de-legitimization of Israel undermines democracy, and corrupts international institutions that should protect peace and fight against terrorism. It legitimates oppressive and violent cultures against women, homosexuals and freedom of thought. In fact, it justifies anti-democratic cultures. For this reason we want to say 'enough' to all the lies about Israel and to claim that Europe loves Israel and wants it living in peace."