The Jewish Telegraphic Agency website reports today (November 19, 2011) that a report released last month by the Italian Chamber of Deputies' Committee for Inquiry into Anti-Semitism found mounting levels of anti-Semitism in the country.
The parliamentary report cited a 2008 study by Italy's Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation showing that 44 percent of Italians express attitudes and opinions "in some way hostile to Jews," and that 12 percent are "fully fledged anti-Semites."
It also revealed a dramatic increase of anti-Semitic websites and social networks, and a level of hatred against Israel that the report says goes far beyond the limits of legitimate criticism.
Silvio Berlusconi's resignation as Italian prime minister last week was jeered and cheered by many Italians, including Jews. Berlusconi -- a 75-year-old billionaire womanizer -- was notorious for telling "Jewish jokes," making tasteless references to the Holocaust, and often committing social blunders on Jewish matters.