After having presented a brief overview of the relationship between Italy and Israel since its founding to the 1990s, this article analyses the reasons why the Berlusconi government decided to change the Italian foreign policy towards Israel, moving from a more pro-Palestinian stance to a clearly pro-Israel one. The international situation after 9/11 and the new state of affairs of Italian politics following the birth of the so-called Second Republic might explain such a turning-point. In particular, the post-fascist Alleanza Nazionale (AN) party was looking for legitimization by the Italian Jewish communities in order to present itself as a modern European right-wing party. Thus, AN decided to openly support Israel, thus pushing the entire government towards this position. At the same time, the birth of an Islamophobic milieu made relevant sectors of the civil society back Israel, as part of the wider battle that "the West" is conducting against "the Muslim fundamentalism".


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pp. 79-103
Launched on MUSE
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