ITALY | Pig's head sent to home of Jewish group chief
Source: thelocal.it Friday, 7 March 2014, 12:31
A box containing a pig’s head was sent to the home of Riccardo Pacifici, the president of the Rome Jewish Community, days after similar packages were sent to the city’s synagogue and museum.
The revelation, made by Pacifici during a testimony on Wednesday at the trial of seven right-wing extremists, followed a report from the US government last week, which said that Italy’s 30,000 Jews continue to suffer discrimination.
Pacifici told the court that the incident happened ten days after pigs heads were mailed to the synagogue and Jewish Museum of Rome - and just a few days ahead of the International Commemoration Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust on January 27th, Il Messaggero reported. A third, targetted at the Israeli embassy, was intercepted by police.
Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino described the act against Pacifici as “despicable” and said that it highlights once again how “violent and dangerous” a “lack of culture, knowledge of history and memory” can be.
“The Jewish community does not deserve these offences,” he added.
Pacifici was speaking during the trial of seven extremists from the Militia Movement, who are accused of condoning fascism and smearing the walls of Rome with anti-Semitic graffiti.
He reportedly got into a shouting match with one of the defendants, Stefano Schiavelli, as the hearing came to a close. Schiavelli allegedly "verbally provoked" Pacifici in a way that prompted Pacifici to ask "is that a threat?".
The US State Department’s Country Report on Human Rights Practices report revealed that twenty-six percent of Jews in Italy experienced anti-Semitic harassment, such as vandalism and online hate speech, in the 12 months up to November 2013.