The participants to the meeting of the Jewish community Er Kibbutz in Viterbo on Jan. 22nd discussed and agreed upon a joint statement by Jews, Christians and Muslims, as an open letter to Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni. Massimiliano Salvini (of the Er Kibbutz Jewish community), Chamwil Njifon, a Muslim student from Cameroon at Palermo University, and Movisol chairwoman Liliana Gorini, were the initial signers. They collected other signatures, included below, including a Palestinian refugee in Italy and the chairman in Italy of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Also Alessia Ruggeri, who attended the meeting on Jan. 22nd, signed the statement as a trade unionist and representative of the IPC. The text follows:
Open letter to Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni: Italy Should Go Back To Being a Promoter of a Policy of Peace and Economic Cooperation
Dear Prime Minister,
On January 22, at the invitation of the Jewish community of Viterbo, Er Kibbutz, we discussed the principles that can inspire a lasting peace policy in the Middle East, to end Hamas violence and the “massacre of innocents” in Gaza, where 25,000 civilians, including 10,000 children, have died so far. The slaughter continues, and we therefore believe there is an urgent need for action. As representatives of the three monotheistic religions, Christian, Jewish and Muslim, we appeal to you to advocate to the European Union, the UN and the international community for an immediate ceasefire and a policy of peace and cooperation between Israel and Palestine, such as that which inspired the 1993 Oslo Agreement between then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat for the PLO, and then U.S. President Bill Clinton. One of the key aspects of that agreement was the chapter on economic cooperation, with concrete plans for cooperation between Israel and Palestine for the creation of canals from the Mediterranean and the Red Sea to bring water to the Dead Sea, seawater desalination plants and other projects envisaged by the Oasis Plan of the late American economist and statesman Lyndon H. LaRouche, who since the 1990s called for a peace policy based on economic cooperation and peaceful coexistence between Jews, Muslims and Christians, not only in the Middle East, but throughout the world.
We strongly condemn the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, but at the same time we condemn the disproportionate and barbaric reaction of the Netanyahu government, rightly under accusation even in Israel and by the Jewish community worldwide for funding Hamas to weaken the PLO and prevent a peace agreement, and for endangering the lives of Israeli hostages in Hamas’ hands by refusing to negotiate. We strongly condemn any organization or movement, including the Netanyahu government and Hamas, that, using ethnic or religious nationalism as a pretext, promotes violence. Thousands of “Jews of conscience” have written to the German government and other European governments, thus including yours, asking them to support South Africa’s case against Israel for genocide at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. If you really want to be on Israel’s side, and avert anti-Semitic sentiments in the world, the best way to do so is to support the demands of hundreds of Jewish organizations around the world calling for an end to this “ massacre of innocents,” an immediate ceasefire, and the release of the hostages.
For the past year you haven been promoting a “Mattei plan” for Africa. If Enrico Mattei were alive today, he would certainly be a spokesman for a peace plan for the Middle East, just as in the 1960s he promoted a dialogue between Italy and China, Russia, Iran and the entire Middle East with a policy of peace and economic cooperation in the mutual interest of the Global South, which today loudly supports the case of South Africa in The Hague, and promotes a policy of economic cooperation within the BRICS and the Belt and Road Initiative.
It is in our interest to serve as a bridge to the Mediterranean, and it is in our interest that the insane policy of “general war against Russia and China” announced by NATO [Military Committee Chairman] Admiral Bauer be replaced by a policy of peace.
“They will forge their swords into plowshares, their spears into sickles; one people will no longer raise a sword against another people, they will no longer practice the art of war.” (Isaiah 2:3-4). Our appeal to you, and to all European governments, is based on this verse from the Prophet Isaiah. The alternative is that “piecemeal world war” that Pope Francis has strongly denounced. Italy must once again promote a policy of peace!
Liliana Gorini, chairwoman of Movisol, Milan
Massimiliano Salvini, Jewish Community Er Kibbutz, Viterbo
Chamwil Njifon. Student from Cameroon at Palermo University, founder and director of the YouTube channel Indigeno Incivilito
Bruno Romano, Movisol
Marco Lehnus, physician
Alessia Ruggeri, trade unionist, representative of the International Peace Coalition (IPC)
Arnaldo Vitangeli, editor of La Finanza online journal
Abdel Aziz Ihab, Palestinian refugee, member of the Italian Islamic Community
Gaetano Rotondo, Chairman of the Comitato Liberi Pensatori
Ugo Keke Udeunaga, Chairman in Italy of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)