Enrico Michetti, the right-wing candidate who is also a radio presenter and lawyer, wrote an article last year in which he claimed that victims of other mass killings are thought of less than those who died in the Holocaust because they “did not own banks and did not belong to a lobby that is capable of deciding the destiny of the planet.”
According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is an example of antisemitism.
Mr Michetti was criticised by Emanuele Fiano, a Jewish MP from the centre-Left Democratic Party, who said: “My grandparents, who were gassed at Auschwitz, were much poorer than you, Michetti, as were my uncle and aunt and my great uncles and aunts.”
Mr Fiano added that he hoped Mr Michetti would be “ashamed of these words for the rest of your life,” before adding: “I have no pity for adults, cultured, who in 2020 make such a remark. I will not accept excuses. You don’t deserve excuses.”
Ruth Dureghello, the President of the Jewish community of Rome, said that Mr Michetti’s remarks were “dangerous” and that they hid “a disturbing prejudice.”
In a statement on Saturday, Mr Michetti seemingly tried to retract his words, stating: “The Holocaust was unique in its inhumanity against men and women who had done no wrong whatsoever, the lowest point in history. The utmost vigilance and unity is required by everyone against all forms of antisemitism, so that what happened never happens again, not even in other guises.”