An Italian political has been suspended by his party for an offensive Holocaust joke that was denounced by the country’s Jewish community.
Giorgio Longobardi, 38, a Naples councilor belonging to the far right Brothers of Italy party that is currently high in the poles, was suspended by party leader Giorgia Meloni for the comment which was allegedly meant to be humorous, according to The Times.
Longobardi posted on Facebook that the left wing Democratic Party was going to air Holocaust films on television daily until next month’s election to warn Italians about the fascist danger his party poses. He referenced films including Schindler’s List and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
Longobardi also said that between the films there would be “discussions and testimony from Holocaust survivors.”
The Italy-Israel Federation and the Jewish community of Naples issued a joint statement condemning the politician’s supposed joke, saying they were “lost for words” over the post which they described as “offensive to the memory of six million Jews.”
They added that the incident did not come as a shock and referred to a report that Longobardi had hung posters of Benito Mussolini in his office.
The organizations also accused the Brothers of Italy of having “arrogant fascist and antisemitic opinions.”
After the incident, Longobardi was suspended from the party, whose image Meloni has worked to shift to the mainstream and away from its far right roots. The party said it will hold an inquiry into the councilor’s post.