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Photo by: Summit think tank
Italians hold speech rally for Israel
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
23/11/2012
Italian MP Fiamma Nirenstein organizes a “speaking marathon” to support Israel in front of parliament in Rome.
 
Italian MP and journalist Fiamma Nirenstein organized a “speaking marathon” to support Israel in front of Italy’s parliament in Rome on Thursday.

Nirenstein, vice president of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement ahead of the rally, “I believe that for the sake of peace we need to restore the truth about the ongoing conflict. We need to neutralize the denigratory language used day by day to criminalize Israel and to delegitimize its right to defend its own citizens under attack.”

More than 100 people with Israeli flags appeared before the speeches began. A total of 1,500 pro-Israel supporters showed up as the speeches – a total of 50 – started.

Parliamentarians from across the Italian political spectrum appeared, as well as former minister for equal opportunities Mara Carfagna and former education minister Mariastella Gelmini.

Speeches were scheduled to be read from President of the Chamber of Deputies Gianfranco Fini and President of the Senate Renato Schifani.

The flyer announcing the demonstration reads “Israel is defending itself, it didn’t attack.” The notice continued, “Since Israel’s disengagement in 2005, an intolerable number of missiles, including Iranian Fajr-5 missiles, have been fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip. In the past week, over 1,200 rockets fired forced 1 million people living in southern Israel to give up their normal routine and live in the shelters.”

According to one organizer of the event, Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, now running for the primaries of the Democratic Party, was scheduled to speak to the demonstrators as part of live phone call hookup.
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