From Rome to Jerusalem: The Myth of United Italy and the Birth of Zionism

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
2 p.m.

Lattimore 401, Hartman Room

In the history of Zionism we find an absolutely eccentric model with respect to the Jewish tradition: Italy. Italy is a topic for the political ideologues who first begin to imagine a country for the Jews: from the socialist Moses Hess, to the rabbi Leo Pinsker. Along with them, even the Italian patriots imagine a new land for the Jews: indeed the first modern treatise on Zionism is written by a fighter for the freedom of Italy, Musolino, leader of the riots in the South against the House of Bourbon. What connects two distant countries such as Italy and Israel and with such different histories and traditions? There are political similarities: the huge problem of the foreign domination and the power of religious institutions opposed to unity – the Catholic Church and Islam. But there is also the powerful memory of the book of Exodus that becomes the basis of a common revolutionary thought.

Refreshments will be provided.