Italian-Israelis Protest World Leader’s Silence in Wake of Tel Aviv Attack

“Where is the world” was the question posed in a silent protest held on Dizengoff Street last night, in the first Israeli event organized by Italian organization Project Dreyfus. 

Tel Aviv, ISRAEL; January 10, 2016: “Where is the world?” was the question posed last night by Project Dreyfus, an Italian nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, fundamentalism and other forms of discrimination.

Project Dreyfus’ latest action was held last night on Dizengoff Street near the pub where on January 1st three Israelis were killed and seven wounded in a terrorist attack. The protestors, who were mainly Italian-Israeli olim, stood in silence, some holding cutout silhouettes of world leaders — Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Matteo Renzi, Alexis Tsipras and others — accusing them of maintaining a double-standard regarding terror attacks in Israel as compared with similar attacks in other countries.

Other protestors held signs emblazoned with the overall event message: #WHEREISTHEWORLD. The hashtag was shared over social media along with photos of the event.

This message was expanded on in a flyer, distributed by the protestors to passers-by, which read in part: “Nov. 13, 2015. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and HyperCacher, the world stood in solidarity with France. January 1, 2016: Following the continued blood spilling at the end of 2015, [and] a terrorist attack in the center of Tel Aviv that killed three and injured many… Again foreign leaders failed to condemn this act of terror and the media failed to report it appropriately.”

Project Dreyfus is an Italian nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting against anti-Semitism, all kinds of fundamentalisms and discriminations. Project Dreyfus observes and reports the events, current events and the history of the Middle East in order to understand the conflict in progress. It distributes relevant content about culture, science, innovation, technology, tourism, politics, the Middle East etc. Project Dreyfus also works for the development of shared initiatives with other organizations with the same goals and values.

Alex Zarfati, Project Dreyfus President and Co-founder, said: “This rally isn’t the first Project Dreyfus. On March 2015, we organized an evening conference, produced by the Italian TV channel RAI, which was dedicated to the tragic episode of Ilan Haimi. Ilan was a young Frenchman that was kidnapped in 2006 and tortured for three weeks until death, because he was a Jew. We managed to bring three important representatives of the monotheistic religions and create a peaceful debate between them.”

“For this specific event, our goal was to criticize the fact that not one world leader truly condemned the terror attack at the Simta bar in Tel Aviv. They didn’t condemn it, even though it’s clear that this is the same kind of terror as the Paris terror attacks and the other radical Islamic terror attacks that threaten the Western world.”

Gianluca Pontecorvo, Project Dreyfus Vice President and Co-founder, added: “This was the first official event organized in Israel after what we did in Italy. I came especially from Rome along with several people, to show our solidarity with all Israeli civilians who have been victims of Palestinian attacks. While the world leaders have a double standard in their solidarity, we are here to remind the Israelis that they are not alone and to sing HaTikva together. A hymn of peace and brotherhood.”

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About the Author
Michael Sierra was born and raised in Jerusalem. His family is from Italy and he is responsible for student activities in Israel's Italian Jewish community.
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