“Anti-Semitism in the ancient form is no longer the [primary] issue” facing
world Jewry, outgoing chairwoman of the International Council of Jewish
Parliamentarians (ICJP) Fiamma Nirenstein told The Jerusalem Post this
Nirenstein, a former Italian MP and recent immigrant to Israel, was
replaced by New York Congressman Eliot Engel as head of the international Jewish
body last week.
Nirenstein said rather than being troubled over classical
anti-Semitism in the West, in which the Jews as individuals are targeted due to
religious or racial biases, the central focus of Jewish efforts should be hate
against the Jewish state.
Anti-Zionism “has become the new
anti-Semitism,” Nirenstein told the Post.
“You will not find a politician
that will call himself an anti-Semite but if you talk about the issue of Israel,
[you will find an] unashamed attitude of lies of the Jewish people,” she
“A lot of lies have been spread about the Jews’’ right to live in
When asked about some of the challenges facing European
Jewry, such as attempts to ban religious practices – including ritual slaughter
and circumcision – Nirenstein replied that if circumcision is banned then the
Jews “would have to abandon Europe.”
Despite such dire warnings, however,
Nirenstein is hopeful for the Jewish future, saying that she had worked hard,
during her tenure as head of the ICJP, to combat anti-Semites in Hungary and
other countries in which the far Right has grown in strength.
praised Engel, saying that she was happy to see him succeed her and that she
hoped that she could help him in his new role.