Friday 30 January 2009

The strange case of the Florence Synagogue bomb - part three!

The strange story of the IED found near the Florence Synagogue has been covered once again by 'il Firenze' - a Florence newspaper. Today's issue is also here

Here's my translation. There is also a fragment from a Jewish Community press release about the other articles.

The [Florence Jewish] Community answers:

“Pay extreme attention. The political situation and the fragile state of things in  these months in Italy - we are referring to the minorities, the Jewish minority in particular was the target of several attacks -  command attention and circumspection from everybody’s part”. This is taken from a press release by the Florence Jewish Community.

Via de’ Pilastri. The neighbours talk about the strained state of things whence the act originated.

We live in harmony with the Jews, the real problem is that extremist…

The frictions with Borenstein reach their climax on Fridays, when he comes to cater for his followers.

By Claudio Bozza

These virulent quarrels have been going on for more than four years. They have also degenerated into a physical confrontation with the followers of the ultra-Orthodox Jew Eli Borenstein,  founder of the Chabad house in Via de’ Pilastri, where an ‘intimidation explosive device’ (unable to explode) was found on Jan the 17th. In the quarter, after ‘il Firenze’ reported on the groundlessness of the anti-Semitic motives, there is tension in the air.

This tension is not about conflicts with the citizens of Florence and the Jewish community: “On the contrary, we go along fine and there has never been a problem – says Lorenzo, the owner of a centuries old typography in via de’ Pilastri – the real problem is Borenstein, an extremist who’s causing trouble to everybody, especially to the Jews of his community, people he should see as his brothers”. Quarrels spark almost once a week, when Borenstein arrives from Bologna.

Besides the Chabad house he owns other premises in Via de’ Pilastri 28r. A relatively small space where, according to the neighbours, he manages to cater for up to 40 persons. They are new proselytes for his ultra-Orthodox Jewish denomination, they are the people clashing with the rest of the perfectly integrated Jewish Community.

“It’s hard to miss this gentleman: he arrives on Friday with his followers and he serves Saturday’s dinner and lunch in that little room – says a neighbour who however prefers to remain anonymous – they bring their food on the street and have no respect for decency”.

The infuriating thing for the neighbourhood is that all this is   done without the proper authorizations: in the past the Carabinieri and the NAS [the Italian police] intervened, and also the Finanzieri [the Italian IRS]. After that, no more checks and business as usual. Meals and entrance are absolutely free, but it’s only a trick to proselytize. At the end of the meals Borenstein asks for a contribution for the education of the youth of his community. And they are not small contributions, they say.

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