By World Israel News Staff and TPS
Member of Knesset Gila Gamliel, a former Israeli minister, congratulated her “dear friend” Giorgia Meloni on becoming the new prime minister of Italy on Sunday, possibly the only Israeli politician to do so.
“Meloni is a true supporter of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. In many occasions she expressed her commitment to further deepen the bond between our countries. Looking forward to working together!” Gamliel wrote on Twitter.
Meloni thanked her for her “words and friendship,” and said she was “ready to strengthen our bilateral relationships and our common work in the Conservative family.” She wished Gamliel “good luck” in Israel’s upcoming elections in November.
Meloni, the leader of the conservative party Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) and feared by some is too right-wing, has told the Israel Hayom daily that Israel “represents the only fully-fledged democracy in the broader Middle East, and we defend without any reservations its right to exist and live in security.
“I believe that the existence of the State of Israel is vital and Fratelli d’Italia will make every effort to invest in greater cooperation between our countries.”
She added that “one of the most common manifestations of anti-Semitism today is anti-Israel propaganda.”
Meloni herself has made several controversial statements, accusing Israel of carrying out “another massacre of children in Gaza” during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and praising Hezbollah and the coalition which supported Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad in 2018 as the “protectors” of Syria’s Christians.
As an activist in her teens, Meloni praised fascist WWII-era dictator Benito Mussolini.
In a video sent to international journalists in August of this year, she stressed her party’s links to Likud and other mainstream conservative factions.
“I have been reading that the victory of Fratelli d’Italia in the September elections would mean a disaster, leading to an authoritarian turn, Italy’s departure from the euro and other nonsense of this sort. None of this is true…
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked also welcomed Meloni’s victory. ” The right won in Italy and will win in Israel as well. Yes, women can do anything, even lead a country,” she tweeted.
“Women can also do fascism,” far-left Meretz party chairwoman Zehava Golan stated in response