Beppe Grillo har kommet med uttalelser om jøder og Israel som vekker oppsikt i jødiske kretser. Også tilhengerne av Femstjernerbevegelsen viser fiendtlighet mot jøder.
Last year, in an interview with Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronot, Grillo claimed that a Jewish lobby controls all the information Europeans learn about Israel and the Palestinian territories. The anti-Semitic thread winds back years, with an entry Grillo made in his much-followed blog shortly after Gibson made derogatory comments about Jews during his arrest for drunken driving in 2006.
“The Hollywood producers of Jewish origin and even the others if there are any,” Grillo railed, were threatening Gibson’s career. If the actor “had said …’Israel could cause the outbreak of the Third World War’ perhaps they would have reopened Alcatraz just for him and then thrown away the keys,” Grillo wrote.
Giving his own views, Grillo added: “Israel is frightening. Its behavior is irresponsible. There! I’ve said it! And I’m not even drunk.”
Menachem Gantz, the Israeli journalist who conducted the 2012 Yedioth Ahronot interview of Grillo, said his quick rise and his strong election showing are “scary” and “dangerous” for Italy.
“The concern is not for the relationship between Israel and Italy, or for the Jews,” Gantz said in a telephone interview in Rome, where he is based. “The concern is for Italy.”
A Rome-based American journalist and a longtime observer of Italian society, Lisa Palmieri-Billig, also noted a strong racist and anti-Semitic streak among some of Grillo’s supporters. She wrote this month for the website of AJC, a worldwide Jewish advocacy organization, that the 5-Star Movement has “not yet taken an open stand against expressions of racism and anti-Semitism, regarding the content of his bloggers.”
Palmieri-Billig conceded that Grillo has said that in the past he has asked the justice minister to take action against the “phenomenon of racism and Holocaust denial” embraced by many of his blog’s followers. But, in a phone interview with The Associated Press, she said Grillo “should be challenged to define” his exact positions on anti-Semitism, and pressed about foreign policy as well.
Grillo’s 5-Star lawmakers are all neophytes to politics, with such fresh faces as a 25-year-old unemployed Neapolitan woman who studied theater. By a show of hands, the Movement’s lawmakers selected as their whip for the Chamber of Deputies a young Roman woman who in a blog posting a few weeks ago praised Benito Mussolini’s fascist rule, saying it showed a “very high sense of state and protection for families.”
“The whip praises ‘good’ fascism,’” Rome daily La Repubblica wrote in a headline on Tuesday. That same day, the whip, Roberta Lombardi, contended that her words about fascism were taken out of “historical context.”