In new york, despite his remarks about mussolini, the italian head of government receives an award from the jewish organization anti-defamation league for his loyalty to the united states and israel
An unusual number of heads of government meet in new york this time to discuss the future of the international organization and iraq during the UN general assembly. U.S. President bush has already made his request that the international community of the U.S. Should provide stronger support in the reconstruction, the UN secretary general warned against the prevention strategy practiced by the U.S. Government, which would blow up the united nations. Bush meets with schroder. The head of the italian government, silvio berlusconi, who is a popular figure in the white house, also gave a speech and took the opportunity to accept an award for his active opposition to anti-semitism.
Berlusconi, who shortly before had appeared on italian television as sanger, kept to his role as holder of the EU presidency during his speech. He called for the strengthening of the UN, the security council and international agreements, and identified terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as two of the greatest threats to peace and development. Contrary to the prevention strategy, he stressed that when all political and diplomatic means have been exhausted, recourse to force legitimized by the UN should not be ruled out. In the case of iraq, he held back diplomatically and avoided minefields. The UN plays an important role, a new government must be elected democratically, the council is a first step to that end. He also called for support for reconstruction at the donor countries conference in madrid.
Berlusconi was less diplomatic when he recently claimed – allegedly a little tipsy – that mussolini had not killed anyone and therefore could not be compared to a dictator like hussein: "mussolini only sent people on vacation, to an inland exile." this once again brought the head of government a lot of criticism. He was condemned as an apologist of fascism. But not by an american organization that otherwise spouts anti-semitic rhetoric and nazi slogans. Berlusconi, who had already insulted a german social democrat in the european parliament as a camp commander (kaput lager), for whom the islamic culture is inferior to the christian one (berlusconi wants the volker "occidentalize and conquer") and who has in his government openly racist articulated members (with cannonballs or internment in "regional protection zones" outside the EU), is nevertheless awarded by the anti-defamation league (ADL) with the "distinguished statesman award" awarded. Previously, jacques chirac, last year ariel sharon ("prime minister sharon is a patriot, statesman and, as president bush said, a man of peace", according to ADL director foxman) received the award.
While the ADL is an originally jewish organization that opposes anti-semitism, it also speaks out against racism, extremism and hate crimes against other groups. Despite the criticism of berlusconi, also from the jewish side, the prize is awarded to him because he has worked so hard for israel and the USA and against anti-semitism, explained the ADL director abraham foxman. He added, however, that he appreciated berlusconi as a friend, but condemned his remarks. Moreover, berlusconi has apologized.
Nevertheless, the reputation of the ADL – the jury for its prize includes henry kissinger, rupert murdoch and mortimer zuckerman – has been damaged, even though it is and was clearly one-sided, especially with regard to israel and the arab states. It is certainly permissible to make pro-fascist statements – even as head of government of a right-wing coalition – if one is sufficiently pro-israeli (u.A. Berlusconi advocates israel’s membership in the EU) and supports the US government in its war in iraq and against islamic terrorism.
In a letter to the editor published by the new york times, the three nobel prize winners paul samuelson, franco modigliani and robert solow, as well as four other MIT professors, protested against the awarding of the prize. It was "shocking". They point out that mussolini was responsible for the deaths of many opponents, for the introduction of racial laws, and for the deportation of thousands of jews. Berlusconi had apologized only to italian jews, but not to the italian people for his remarks: "apparently, the A.D.L. Is giving mr. Berlusconi its award because of his support of israel and of prime minister ariel sharon. But support of israel should not be sufficient. In this case, it is bad for the jews, bad for italy, bad for the united states and even bad for israel."