Italy: Court clears cartoonist of anti-Semitism charges
Rome judge says cartoonist Vauro Senesim, who used racist stereotypes in caricature p Italian Jewish politician, can’t be called anti-Semite because of his humanitarian work
An Italian court has ruled that a controversial illustrator could not be publicly accused of anti-Semitism because of his actions on behalf of causes related to third world countries.
According to a Sunday report in JTA, back in 2008 cartoonist Vauro Senesi published a caricature of Italian Jewish politician Fiamma Nirenstein wearing a Star of David and fascist symbols.
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The cartoon appeared in the left-wing publication Manifesto.
Following the publication, journalist Giuseppe Caldarola published an opinion piece in which he blasted Senesi as an anti-Semite.
Senesi promptly sued Caldarola for defamation of character.
The court declared that Senesi „could not be publicly accused of anti-Semitism because of his profound commitment to humanitarian causes in third world countries.”
In January, Rome Judge Emanuela Attura $33,000 fine on Caldarola for slander.
In the verdict, Attura cited Senesi’s work with Emergency, an Italian non-governmental organization that sends medical aid in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as an indication that he is not an anti-Semite.
According to the JTA, President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder expressed his outrage over the fine imposed on Caldarola.