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Italy — National Strategy for Combating Antisemitism (2021)


The National Strategy proposed here, based on the definition and examples identified by the IHRA as a reliable and shared point of departure, is broken down into a process consisting of a number of steps:

  • knowledge/understanding of the historical roots and characterisation of the phenomenon;
  • assessment and measurement of the phenomenon (antisemitic prejudice and hate crimes);
  • background/understanding of the problem within the Italian context;
  • application of policies to combat it, and their periodic updating.


In order to implement these lines of action, the following duties are proposed for the National Coordinator for the fight against Antisemitism:

  • Carrying out constant monitoring of the phenomenon and periodically updating the National Strategy for combating Antisemitism.
  • Managing relationships with Jewish Communities.
  • Managing relationships with the coordinators at EU level that have the same role – in concert and with the collaboration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation pursuant to art. 1 of Italian Presidential Decree no. 18 of 1967 – with international organisations like the UN, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and the OSCE, thus contributing to multilaterall promoting what Italy does to protect human rights and fight against Antisemitism.
  • Collaborating with UNAR (Italian National Office against Racial Discrimination), as well a with public and private social institutions, Universities and associations, to facilitate the reporting of acts of Antisemitism, the collection of data on the phenomenon in Italy and on th training of the Public Administration and the entities concerned by the phenomenon.
  • Contributing to coordinating and reinforcing channels and mechanisms for reporting acts o Antisemitism and hate crimes.
  • Supporting the participation of the Italian Delegation to the IHRA.


  1. Guidance for the government/Parliament on regulatory aspects
    • Defence of fascism : Expand the scope of the criminal implications of and sanctions applied to conduct defending fascism. Sanction both direct active propaganda of fascist or Nazi Socialist parties (production, distribution, dissemination or sale of propagandistic materials, images, objects, gadgets or symbols) and public conduct (symbols and gestures).
    • Reference to Antisemitism in antidiscrimination regulations in force : Evaluate the possible expansion of the rules of the Criminal Code, which currently do not adequately cover the reasons or purposes of antisemitic discrimination or hatred or antisemitic prejudice. Furthermore, with the conviction that, in the case at hand, they perform a more effective educational prevention/deterrent function than criminal provisions, it is considered appropriate to introduce an integrated system of administrative offences. Aside from the establishment of fixed sanctions, it would be appropriate to evaluate the adoption of proportional, individualised sanctions commensurate with the actual seriousness of the offence, as well as the personal and financial conditions of the subject. It is deemed particularly effective, in light of the purposes programmatically pursued, to establish voluntary obligations with jointly reparative and conformative content, adequate to the concrete case. To identify, describe and concretely circumscribe the offences relating to antisemitic prejudice, reference can be made to the proposed indicators, as well as the “contextual signs” proposed by the OSCE for the identification of such indicators.
    • Combating hate speech online : Approve parliamentary proposals that favour changes in social media platform policies in order to guarantee a uniform and efficient system for reporting and removing hate speech (also establishing administrative fines for operators that do not comply with these requirements).
    • Ratification of the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime : Ratify the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems, opened for signature in Strasbourg, within the Council of Europe, on 28 January 2003, which entered into force at international level on 1 March 2006.
  2. Institutional realm :
    • Create a single point for the collection of data on acts of Antisemitism, as regards hate crimes as well as in relation to antisemitic incidents, in order to obtain a more complete view of the phenomenon in Italy and coordinated monitoring between the bodies that currently perform this duty.
    • Ministry of the Public Administration : Adopt/utilise the IHRA definition of Antisemitism and the proposed examples/indicators, within Public Administration codes of conduct (particularly the Code of conduct of public employees pursuant to Italian Presidential Decree no. 62/2013, which defines the obligations of diligence, fairness, impartiality and good conduct that public employees are required to meet).
    • Regions, Local Authorities, Institutions, Political Groups and Parties : To guarantee that the fight against Antisemitism takes place across all administrative levels (national, regional and local), it is recommended that Local Administrations adopt/concretely use the IHRA definition of Antisemitism with the examples and indicators presented in the Report as criteria for identifying expressions of it.
  3. World of education and training
    • Ministry of Education, schools, training institutions, instructional services :
      • Develop dedicated Guidelines on Antisemitism on the basis of the IHRA definition and the proposed examples/indicators, intended for instructors and scholastic personnel of all types and levels. Enact a large-scale plan for training teachers and educators on the basis of the IHRA definition and the examples/indicators, in connection with initiatives already ongoing on remembrance of the Shoah (Holocaust), providing tools to confront the banalisation and distortion of the Shoah (Holocaust). Integrate the training of teachers and educators with theoretical/practical knowledge surrounding prejudice and stereotypes, especially implicit, and conspiratorial tendencies.
      • Modify and integrate the National Guidance by promoting the Jewish history, culture and presence in our country and the Jewish contribution to the development of society. Improve knowledge of the Jewish culture, history and identity and the Jewish religion in school curricula.
      • In collaboration with the Italian Publishers’ Association, revise textbooks to promote the topics of Jewish culture and history, provide space for the history of the Shoah (Holocaust) and eliminate all types of stereotypes and prejudice, also in relation to clichés about the conflict in the Middle East.
      • Highlight intercultural education and respect for differences, to combat stereotypes and prejudice, within the civics educational curriculum and in school life.
      • If episodes of Antisemitism occur in school, supervise to ensure that school principals, teachers and other staff members are adequately trained to effectively react to these problems, including by setting up listening and counselling services.
    • Ministry of University and Research
      • Adopt/use the IHRA definition and the proposed examples/indicators by inserting them into the codes of ethics of university and other instructors, with respect for freedom in teaching and research, but linking that freedom to respect for principles of non-discrimination.
      • Develop educational courses specifically devoted to Antisemitism in university curricula and in university public and social engagement initiatives Enact surveillance on any limitations on the freedom of expression in academic and university debate for reasons of antisemitic prejudice
      • Carry out a periodic survey on the opinions of students, technical administrative staff (“PTA”) and teaching staff in several universities to identify the presence or development of discriminatory mentalities.
  4. Ministry of Justice/CSM (High Council of the Judiciary)
    • Adopt/use the IHRA definition and the proposed examples/indicators in the training of judicial and forensic professionals, in particular magistrates and managers of judicial offices by the School for the Judiciary and the National Forensic Council.
      Activate monitoring of judicial measures regarding this type of crime (Antisemitism, denialism, hate speech, racism) and the organisational practices of the offices; activate continuous surveys of criminal proceedings regarding hate crimes, also for more effective dissemination of the relative data. Monitor and enact surveillance on any acts or episodes of Antisemitism in the carceral system
  5. Ministry of the Interior
    • Adopt/use the IHRA definition and the proposed examples/indicators in training law enforcement.
    • Develop training initiatives for law enforcement personnel which include a specific focus on Antisemitism in which the WDA and the aggregate examples/indicators presented in the Report are used, alongside the prejudice indicators based on the OSCE definition1 to support the law enforcement official in identifying the antisemitic nature of a crime, also on the basis of the OSCAD publication “When hate becomes a crime” (on preventing and combating hate crimes) and the “Brief guide to Judaism for law enforcement officials” (created by OSCAD and UCEI).
    • Produce a periodic report on the monitoring and combating of Antisemitism which, in view of an overall improvement of statistics on this phenomenon, will be further reinforced, through actions intended to obtain:
      • the breakdown “by areas” of data on hate crimes and, therefore, specific evidence of cases with the presence of antisemitic discriminatory purposes;
      • the continuation of interforce data collection already initiated by OSCAD in 2019 on the basis of OSCE indicators, in order to set up over time a single system for the registration of antisemitic crimes;
      • the optimisation of systems for exchanging data between OSCAD, UCEI, CDEC and Jewish communities active since 2019, in order to share not only cases constituting crimes, but also episodes (relating to both the real and the virtual world) which, although they do not rise to the level of crimes, require close monitoring due to the concrete risk of escalation to more serious acts, or “hate incidents”.
  6. World of media and culture
    • Social network platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok etc.)
      • Adopt/use the IHRA definition and the proposed examples/indicators as criteria for identifying expressions of Antisemitism and hate speech online and as an instrument of knowledge to be spread online to combat the phenomenon.
      • Add to the initial conditions that users need to accept to register on the platform the commitment to avoiding all forms of antisemitic discrimination, including denial or trivialisation of the Shoah, raising awareness with respect to the criminal and other consequences of such conduct.
    • Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM)
      • Supervise the communication system to prevent and combat all forms of Antisemitism in light of the IHRA definition of Antisemitism.
    • Italian National Press Federation and National Order of Journalists
      • Organise regular, periodic training activities for communicators/journalists on the topics of Antisemitism and methods of communication inspired by the examples/indicators contained in the IHRA definition and this document and by pertinent studies and research.
      • Adopt Recommendations analogous to the “International Federation of Journalists Guidelines for Reporting on Violence Against Women” also for information on episodes of Antisemitism and the Shoah.
    • Public and private radio/television system
      • Adopt/use the definition of Antisemitism and the examples/indicators as criteria to identify expressions of Antisemitism and ensure non-discrimination and fight against expressions of hate in all forms of communications.
      • Modify the TUSMAR (Italian Legislative Decree no. 177 of 31 July 2005 – “Consolidated Radio and Television Law”) to include an explicit reference to Antisemitism and strengthen the Authority’s action in terms of imposing penalties.
      • Regularly involve the Order of Journalists and the Italian National Press Federation in permanent training initiatives on the fight against Antisemitism and all forms of hate speech, also based on the sector’s ‘Charter of Assisi’. Develop institutional communication campaigns on the topic based on public service radio/television channels.
  7. Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism
    • Promote places of culture and remembrance in Italy and knowledge of the Jewish culture in the Italian museum system in order to fight against Antisemitism.
  8. World of religions
    • Develop increasingly intense dialogue between religions and faiths, like that which was already initiated between Catholics and Jews after the Second Vatican Council, to combat all forms of intolerance and rejection and understand the valuable reciprocal contributions.
    • Support dialogue and friendship between groups, associations and communities that work for better knowledge and exchange between Jews and Christians and with other religions.
      Foster cultural relationships between ecclesiastic cultural centres, universities and faculties, non-denominational universities and cultural centres and Jewish institutions on knowledge of Judaism.
    • Support the actions of the CEI – Episcopal Conference of Italy to revise the texts used to teach the Catholic religion in primary and secondary schools.
  9. Associations, professional orders, world of sports and NGOs
    • Adopt/use the IHRA definition and the examples/indicators as criteria for identifying expressions of Antisemitism, particularly in training and in association activities.
    • Include the IHRA definition in the Regulations and codes of ethics of the Italian Olympic Committee and the Italian Football Federation and sports federations, also as part of the activities of the UNAR National Observatory against discrimination in sport. Promote occasions for training and knowledge of the phenomenon of Antisemitism.