Italian Senator Lucio Malan was in Israel on Tuesday to receive an award recognizing his commitment to defending the State of Israel.The fourth annual All Nations Convocation Government Leadership Award was bestowed on Malan at the Knesset in a ceremony coordinated by the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus.The All Nations Convocation was established in 1994 as a Christian organization devoted to Israel advocacy and “reconciliation between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East.” The group also organizes an annual two-week prayer convocation in which prayers for peace are recited 24 hours a day, seven days a week.In a conversation with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Malan, currently the secretary of the Italian Senate and also a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, spoke of his motivation in supporting Israel.“I think that telling the truth is the first duty of anyone in a position of responsibility,” Malan said at the end of his five-day visit.“In general, the reasons for supporting Israel are so compelling that only if you are afraid to speak up for the truth can these facts be negated. It won’t necessarily help me win re-election but I have a duty to support what is right within Italy and also outside of Italy.”Giuseppe Platania, the director of the Italian Senate’s Israel Allies Caucus, of which Malan is the founder and chair, says that with the help of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, they hope to establish similar forums in other European countries to mobilize Christian political leaders “who believe in the Bible and the promises of God to Israel.”The issues of radical Islam in Europe along with rising anti- Semitism are issues that need to be addressed Platania said.In reference to current European hostility to Israel, Malan identified a number of causes.“Firstly there is a prejudice which has very ancient roots,” he said. “There is also widespread ignorance of the situation in the Middle East and a desire to appease Islamic immigrants on behalf of politicians who don’t want to alienate this section of the electorate by showing support for Israel. The propaganda of much of the media that reports the situation in Israel in a very biased manner also contributes to this hostility.”Turning to the ongoing diplomatic stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians, Malan said the Palestinian Authority lacks credibility when it asks for land in exchange for peace.“Too many times they were given territories and concessions and weren’t willing to stop the attacks, for instance from Gaza and so on. It appears too often that what they really want is the whole territory west of the Jordan. So it is understandable that some people wouldn’t want to negotiate on such a basis.”Malan was involved in the adoption by the Italian government of its stance opposing a UN recognition of a Palestinian state and also worked to ensure that Italy would boycott the upcoming Durban III conference.“Italy boycotted this third shameful show of racism, which disguised itself under the label of anti-racism. It is a shame that with all the real racism and real oppression that is taking place in the world there is time to blame Israel, and this shows that the UN cannot be relied upon to defend its own charter and the universal declaration of human rights.”Following his visit to the Knesset, Malan attended a private dinner at the King David Hotel on Tuesday night accompanied by a number of the Knesset members of the Christian Allies Caucus including Shai Hermesh, Ayoub Kara, Robert Ilatov and Yoel Hasson.The senator returned to Italy on Tuesday night.