The JTA reports that “a rudimentary explosive device” failed to detonate at its intended target: “the entrance of the Chabad House in Florence.” At this point, it is unclear who targeted the Florence Chabad House — a crazy individual or a coordinated group. Either way, Israel’s defensive incursion into Gaza may have exposed a sentiment shared by many around the world.
One can infer that those motivated to bomb a Chabad house in Italy because of Israel’s military actions are not acting on anti-Israel sentiment alone but on deeply felt anti-Semitism, as the report suggests that the targeting of the Chabad house in Florence fits into an emerging pattern in Italy:
Tensions are high in Italy over Israel’s operation in Gaza. Last week, red paint was thrown at the façade of the synagogue in Pisa. On Saturday, thousands of people, many of them Muslim, staged a pro-Palestinian march in Rome. Some of the placards showed swastikas superimposed on the Star of David.
It is important, also, not to forget who Israel is targeting in Gaza: some of the greatest anti-Semites in the world. To side with Hamas, against Israel, is not a sign of dissent from Israel’s policies, but of something far deeper and far more troubling.