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Aspects of Italy's Jewish experience, as shaped by local and global factors


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This article discusses a number of trends in the evolution of Italy's attitudes towards Jewish concerns since the 1980s. In this overview, such factors that can be better understood within broader trends known from elsewhere are privileged. The prevalent denial of Italy's sharing in the bleaker side of Europe's legacy has now been reduced: because of less parochial attitudes on the part of gentile culture; because of the passing away of the generation compromised by the Fascist persecution of the Jews and then ‘recycled’ into democratic society; because of present-day Italy's Jewry being both globalised (for example, in terms of information) and more assertive; and because of lessons learnt from bitter episodes in Italy, mainly the hatred pandemic of 1982–83. This was itself, arguably, at least in part a ‘glocalised’ reflection (a local adaptation of an outer trigger and a global response) of a worldwide media climate triggered by the war in Lebanon, but also a convergence of the product of local dynamics hastened by an outer trigger and a global catalyst. That episode, and the redefinition of formal agreements between Italy and its Jewry in the late 1980s, make that decade bisect the local Jewish experience since 1945, whereas the history of Italian politics was bisected by the end of the First Republic in the early 1990s, partly precipitated by the new geopolitics.



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Nissan, Ephraim Aspects of Italy's Jewish experience, as shaped by local and global factors. European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire. 2011: 131-142.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-iti6