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Photo by: Courtesy Sharon Nizza
Italian-Israeli to run for parliament in Rome
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
01/28/2013
Sharon Nizza to run for Italian Chamber of Deputies as representative of overseas constituency of Africa-Asia-Oceania-Antarctica.
 
BERLIN – Sharon Nizza, an Italian-Israeli citizen, announced on Monday her plan to run for a seat in the Italy’s Chamber of Deputies in Rome. The country’s parliamentary election is to be held on February 24.

“I was honored to be invited to submit my candidacy in the upcoming election to the Italian Chamber of Deputies as the representative of the overseas constituency of Africa-Asia- Oceania-Antarctica, which also includes the State of Israel,” said Nizza in statement.

She continued, “I decided to seize this historic opportunity offered to me by Il Popolo della Libertà, the only party that had the initiative to present a candidate from this area of the Middle East. For the first time, Italian citizens living in Israel will be able to vote for a candidate living in this country, who will represent this large constituency in the Italian Parliament. I am the youngest of the candidates running for this seat and the first ever to hold Israeli citizenship.”

Italian citizens who live outside of Italy are permitted to vote in parliamentary election and can nominate candidates for elections.

Il Popolodella Libertà or the People of Freedom party is a center-right political party in Italy that was headed by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who helped create the party in 2007.

Nizza is a leading expert on Italian-Israeli relations. She is widely respected among Italian experts covering relations between Italy and Israel. She was born in Milan in 1983 to a Jewish family.

She served as political aide to Fiamma Nirenstein, with whom she worked for four years in the Chamber of Deputies and at the Foreign Affairs Committee. Nizza assisted Nirenstein with her work as as vice president on the foreign affairs committee, which included efforts to convince the EU to outlaw Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah within its territories.

Nizza graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science and Middle Eastern studies from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

In response to a question from Italian left-wing newspaper La Repubblica about the controversy surrounding former prime minister Berlusconi’s comments on Sunday defending Mussolini, on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Nizza said, “I wouldn’t use those words, especially in that context. A regime denying fundamental freedoms to human beings is indefensible. Mussolini’s racial laws have been the peak of shame for the Italian people.”

She added: “I appreciate Berlusconi’s clarification yesterday evening about the importance of the Remembrance Day and his unequivocal commitment to defend Israel’s right to exist. Silvio Berlusconi had praised the economic achievements of the fascist Mussolini regime but criticized its anti-Jewish laws.

“Looking at the present and back [from] a recent visit to Hungary with a parliamentary delegation dealing with anti- Semitism, led by MP Fiamma Nirenstein, I believe we need to pay more attention to what is going on nowadays on European soil,” said Nizza.

She added, “ In Hungary, for example, the neo-fascist, racist and anti-Semitic party Jobbik has an incredible parliamentary consensus of 17 percent. If elected, I would without a doubt represent a guarantee against the resurgence of any senseless ‘nostalgic feelings’ harking back to the dark ages and a monitoring presence on the dramatic rise in anti-Semitism today.”

Nizza has visited Egypt several times, where her family has roots, and advocates an agenda advancing human, women’s and minority rights. She is a co-founder of the nonprofit organization “Italians For Darfur.”

She seeks to advance Italy as a leader in the international human rights arena coupled with spreading knowledge of Italian culture and its people across the world.
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