'Jews, the End is Near', Says Graffiti in Rome
Rome's mayor has denounced anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas that have appeared across the city, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Tuesday.
Some of the graffiti referred to the escalating violence in Gaza and included taunts such as "Jews, the end is near."
Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino offered his solidarity with Rome's Jewish community and said the graffiti, which appeared near Jewish-owned businesses, was an "offense to all Romans."
Marino also ordered the graffiti and swastikas removed, according to AP.
Jewish leaders, meanwhile, urged Rome police to find those responsible and punish them.
The head of Rome's Jewish Community, Riccardo Pacifici, was quoted by AP as having said, "Rome cannot become like Paris where Jews are assaulted, synagogues are surrounded and where wearing the yarmulke is a concrete danger."
Italian political leaders condemned the graffiti and the Vatican newspaper l'Osservatore Romano wrote Tuesday of the "abominable" new episode of anti-Semitism.
Six months ago, boxes containing pigs' heads were sent to the Israeli embassy in Rome and the city's synagogue.
A letter inside contained derogatory comments about the Holocaust and references to Theodor Herzl, considered to be the founder of modern political Zionism. Marino condemned this incident as well.
Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Europe and has particularly reared its ugly head in the wake of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
During the operation, there have been attacks on synagogues and Jewish businesses in France, as well as violent anti-Semitic demonstrations in Germany, where an imam in Berlin recently called on Muslims to "kill Zionist Jews."