Mai indifferenti - Voci ebraiche per la pace

English version

Never indifferent. Jewish voices for peace

Press Release

We are a group of Italian Jews, men and women, who, after the anniversary of the Holocaust Memorial Day and in light of the ongoing war in the Middle East, came together and shared different feelings: anguish, unease, despair, and a sense of isolation.
On October 7, not only Israelis but also we who live here were shocked by the Hamas terrorist attack and felt grief, anger and dismay.
And the response of the Israeli government shocked us:
Netanyahu, in order to stay in power, started a military action that has already killed more than 28,000 Palestinians and many Israeli soldiers, while to this day he has no plan to exit the war and the fate of most of the hostages is still uncertain.
Unfortunately, it seems that part of the Israeli population and many Diaspora Jews fail to grasp the drama of the present and its consequences for the future.
The massacres of civilians perpetrated in Gaza by the Israeli army are definitely war crimes: they are unacceptable and horrify us. One can reason for hours about the meaning of the word "genocide," but it does not seem that this debate contributes to stop the ongoing massacre and the suffering of all the victims, including the hostages and their families.
Many of us have had the opportunity to hear critical and alarmed voices from Israel: they tell us that the country is literally torn by a sort of tribal war - ultra-Orthodox Jews, secularists, settlers - in which each party serves their own interest, without any idea of a shared project.
What happens in Israel affects us personally because of the presence of relatives or friends, because of the historical significance of the State of Israel born after the Shoah, as well as for many other reasons. That is why we do not want to remain silent.
We felt a great discomfort on the recent Holocaust Memorial Day: we cannot share the way it is experienced if it is reduced to a ritualistic and empty celebration. While we acknowledge the uniqueness of the Shoah, we consider it important to give back to January 27th the meaning and significance with which it was established in the year 2000, namely a day dedicated to the opportunity and importance of reflecting on what has been and therefore should never be repeated, not only with respect to the Jewish people.
January 27th 2024 was a particularly difficult and painful deadline for us to come to terms with: what good is memory today if it does not help stopping the death in Gaza and in the West Bank? And if it contributes to tell a story that is aimed at justifying and normalizing crimes?
We are well aware that there is an unprocessed anti-semitism in our country and around the world, we can feel and smell this around us over these months, especially since October 7, when we have witnessed cracks in our relations with some parts of left-wing parties and have experienced tensions with personal friends. However, there is urgency to break this vicious cycle: having suffered a genocide provides no vaccine capable of making us exempt from feelings of indifference to the pain of others, of dehumanization and violence against the weakest.
To combat the growing anti-Jewish hatred at this very moment, we think the only way is to try to question ourselves deep down to open a dialogue of peace by building bridges even between positions that seem distant.
We disagree with the directions that the Union of Italian Jewish Communities have released on the day of Holocaust Memorial Day, which emphasize that any criticism of Israel's policies falls under the definition of anti-Semitism. We know what anti-Semitism is, and we do not tolerate its instrumental use. We want to preserve our human nature and the universalism that coexists with our being Jewish women and Jewish men.

At this time, when everything is difficult, we stand by those who suffer by trying to think and feel together.

Mai indifferenti - Never Indifferent. Jewish Voices for Peace

Words and Beyond

A public meeting, promoted by the people who created the “Mai indifferenti. Jewish voices for peace” are promoting a public meeting, to provide an opportunity to think together about what is happening in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, and what can be done in the face of the increasingly dramatic situation.
We are not a group that speaks with one voice, but rather a network of people who feel united in the need to break away from the apparent unity of the Italian Jewish community and the simplified use of certain terms.
We wanted to break the silence with our appeal.
‘Anti-Semitism’, ‘Zionism’, ‘genocide’ and other terms have become weapons that confuse and divide, often inappropriately.
In the context of a difficult, sometimes impossible, public debate, we feel the need not to stop on the threshold of words, but to try to analyze them with a view to breaking the language of hatred, war and dehumanization that is spreading on all sides.
The meeting includes an initial presentation of the appeal by some of the promoters (Jardena Tedeschi, Renata Sarfati, Eva Schwarzwald) and in-person speeches by Stefano Levi Della Torre, Gad Lerner, Silvia Vegetti Finzi, Federico Sinicato and David Calef; others will connect remotely.

Milano, April 14 2024 - 2,30/6 pm

Casa della Cultura

Via Borgogna 3 Milano

The meeting will be streamed live on the YouTube channel of Casa della Cultura


Those who want to sign our appeal can write to: