WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
So reads the inscription on the glittering white pyramid of the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984.
In 2008, controversial Italian cartoonist Vauro Senesi published a drawing of Jewish Italian politician Fiamma Nirenstein as the Frankenstein monster, with a Star of David, hook nose, and fascist symbols.
Italian journalist Giuseppe Caldarola responded by calling Senesi an anti-Semite in an article. Senesi sued Caldarola for defamation of character. But Judge Emanuela Attura ruled that since Senesi did work with an NGO that sends medical aid to Afghnistan and Pakistan, he could not possibly be an anti-Semite.
Again—According to the Italian court, Senesi’s humanitarian work with Pakistanis and Afghans means he could not possibly hate Jews. Following that impeccable logic, since Henry Ford established the Ford Foundation, he couldn’t possibly be criticized for publishing The International Jew; The World’s Problem. And since Mel Gibson donates millions to children’s hospitals, he is above reproach for, well, his array of racist/sexist outbursts and comments.
In Italy, then, speaking out about an anti-Semitic cartoon is punished with a fine of $30,000, but publishing the cartoon is perfectly fine, as long as the author is nice to some other group of people.
John Galtung, the Norwegian sociologist known as the “father of peace studies”, founded Oslo’s International Peace Research Institute. This honorable old man of peace wondered in comments to the Norwegian press about Jewish and Israeli links to the Anders Breivik massacre last summer. Professor Galtung pointed out that “six Jewish companies control 96% of the media,” and that it is impossible to read The Protocols of the Elders of Zion without thinking of investment bank Goldman Sachs. Though it came out recently, Galtung had been making anti-Semitic remarks in lectures at the University of Oslo, and regularly referred to white supremacist articles as sources.
So the preeminent peace scholar in Europe is a firm believer in classical anti-Semitic conspiracies, and in Italy it’s okay to be an anti-Semite as long as you’re a generous spirit.
But hey, if Ignorance is Strength, Italy and Norway are superpowers.