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Antisemitism in Italy


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This paper focuses on the background and characteristics of antisemitic expressions and
perceptions in Italy – not the largest but one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe. We
provide a profile of the main characteristics of Italy's Jewish population and review the main
themes and prejudices that have long permeated Italian society and public opinion regarding
Jews in the country. Through a variety of recent sources we document the extant public
knowledge and attitudes about Jews, attitudes about Israel, and perceptions of the diffusion of
antisemitism among the general public. Perceptions of antisemitism among Italian Jews have
been documented separately as part of the FRA study. Our purpose here is to contribute to a
better assessment of the antisemitic syndrome, its sociological and political components,
through the prism of the Italian case. In particular we demonstrate the extent of the
phenomenon in a country where antisemitism, while not rated among the highest in Europe, is
nevertheless a matter of concern. We also compare the actual socio-demographic profile of
the Jewish population with the distorted perceptions of its rivals and detractors.



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Bibliographic Information

DellaPergola, Sergio Antisemitism in Italy. International Journal of Global Diaspora Studies. 2015: 41-61.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-1149