Italy has found a new way to make Jews feel excluded from the country’s public life. Every year, Italy holds a parade to celebrate Liberation Day, when World War II and the Nazi occupation of Italy both ended. In the past, the Jewish Brigade, a group of volunteer forces that fought with the British army during the war, has participated in the parade. However, Haaretz reports that this year the Brigade has been banned by organizers as an act of protest against the Israeli policy:
In 2014, a group of pro-Palestinian supporters verbally attacked Jewish Brigade marchers and tried to assault them physically. This year, the Palestinian groups, Fronte Palestina, Rete Romana Palestina, and Rappresentanza Palestina, are among the organizers of the parade.The Palestinian groups are presenting Palestine as an occupied country to free, like Europe in the 1940s, and the Jewish Brigade as the occupying power Israel.
This ban is just the latest sign of growing anti-Semitism in Europe. It is sometimes remarked that it is different to be critical of, and to protest, Israel’s policies than it is to be anti-Semitic. However, when opposition to Israel’s policies spills over into excluding Jews who fought against the Nazis from a parade in celebration of national liberation, that’s anti-Semitism. Dark times in Europe, indeed.