(Washington, D.C., Dec. 14, 2021)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
In response to reports that the Italian government ignored warnings about a planned 1982 terror attack on the Great Synagogue of Rome, B’nai B’rith calls for the government to conduct a full and unfettered investigation.
During Shemini Atzeret in October 1982, unidentified gunmen fired on worshipers leaving the synagogue. The attack killed 2-year-old Stefano Tache and injured 34 others.
Documents published by the Italian media on Dec. 10 of this year show that Italian government leaders had information on the attack and allege that it had an “agreement” to not intervene or prevent it. According to the documents, Italian intelligence sent the government multiple warnings that a group of Palestinian students may attack Jewish targets in Rome, with the synagogue being at the top of the list of possible targets. The documents show that the Italian government did nothing to increase security in response to these warnings and that the police vehicle that usually sat outside of the synagogue on holidays was absent on the day of the attack.
The documents also suggest that the Italian government signed an agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization that promised there would be no terror attacks on Italian soil in exchange for political support of Palestinians.
These disturbing allegations must be investigated and the truth about the tragic attack on Jewish citizens must be brought to light.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org