Italian FM calls for global backing of Israel

Italy's foreign minister said the international community must help guarantee Israel's security and condemned Iran's president for saying the Jewish state should be "wiped off the map," according to a newspaper interview published Saturday. Gianfranco Fini, a right-wing leader who turned his party from neo-Fascism to mainstream conservative, also was quoted as saying that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad merely said what many others think "but have not always dared speak with such brutality." "Not recognizing Israel's right to exist is an incentive for terrorism because the moment you don't recognize a state's right to exist you don't recognize a people's right to exist," Fini was quoted as saying by Milan daily Corriere della Sera. "Ahmadinejad's words help those who are working to make sure the Middle East never stabilizes, and fuels ... the fire that fuels terrorism." Fini skipped a pro-Israel rally Thursday outside Iran's embassy in Rome saying he feared Teheran might retaliate against Italian interests, although he encouraged others to join the protest.