Gianni Vattimo, a well-known public intellectual and former member of the European Parliament, made the comments on a popular radio show as protests against Israel’s incursion into Gaza were held across Italy and the ruling left-leaning Democratic Party was moving toward a more pro-Israel position.
“I’d like to shoot those bastard Zionists,” Vattimo told Radio 24’s most successful show, “La Zanzara.” When asked by the hosts whether he would like to see more Israelis killed, Vattimo, who described himself on air as “a non-violent person,” responded: “Of course!”
Later, he said he “unfortunately can’t really shoot” because he was exempted from military service.
Vattimo also said he was planning to launch a fund-raising campaign to buy better weapons for Hamas, saying the militants are “fighting with toy rockets that don’t really kill anyone.” He suggested Europeans form international brigades to fight along with Hamas, just as foreign volunteers fought Franco during the Spanish Civil War, and said Israel was “a bit worse than the Nazis.”
(For full audio recording of interview, in Italian, click here)
The stupidity of these comments is stunning, but no one should be too surprised. A few years ago, Vattimo wanted the EU to take Hamas off its list of terrorist organizations so it’s not like he hasn’t declared his position already. Now, as an extension of that way of thinking, he’d like to buy them some better weapons to, you know, make their non-terrorism more effective.