Italy shuts down blog exposing Italy's Jewish academic mafia
An Italian blog that listed the names of more than 160 "Jewish university professors" was removed from the Internet after the oh-so-predictable round of vocal protests from members of Rome's Jewish community.
The blog, reputedly authored by Paolo Munzi, listed the names and places of work of university professors which it accused of publicly and politically supporting Israel.
, where the blog was published, have confirmed that the blog was taken offline in the early afternoon on Friday. Italy's Interior Minister Giuliano Amato ordered police to investigate the case and it is thought Munzi could be charged with invasion of privacy, defamation and incitement to racial hatred.
According to Alessandro Ruben, Italian spokesperson for those paragons of intolerance and world renowned haters of free speech - the Anti-Defamation League, "The Internet has become the main tool for spreading anti-Semitic hatred." His hand-wringing was joined by that of Italian Education Minister, Giuseppe Fioroni, who called the blog a shameful "kind of Ku Klux Klan of the digital age".
Having lived and worked in education in Italy for many years, I can confirm as far as I could see, listings of academic staff for Italian universities, particularly those for senior posts, read like an attendance list at the local synagogue. I have lost count of the number of times I have overheard junior academic staff at Rome's universities comment that their chances of making professor let alone chairing a faculty are almost nil if they were "unlucky enough" not born into the self-styled "most picked on group of people in the world".
While I don't agree that naming names is the first line of attack against the problem of rampant cronyism and the rule of a tribal academic mafia, perhaps it has reached the stage that nothing else will suffice.