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Impossible to stay silent on Israel attacks in Gaza, says famed Italy actor

December 1, 2023 at 2:42 pm

Italian actor Antonio De Matteo, pro-Palestinian activist, interviewed by Anadolu Agency in his office on November 27, 2023 in Rome, Italy. [Prima Barol – Anadolu Agency]

Italian actor, Antonio De Matteo, renowned for his advocacy for Palestinians, took aim at Israel’s recent attacks on the Gaza Strip as despicable and shameful, emphasising the impossibility of remaining silent in the face of such actions, Anadolu Agency reports.

Matteo, who drew attention last month as he waved with a Palestinian flag and held up a shawl reading “Stop the Genocide, Stop the Terrorism” during the Rome Film Festival, told Anadolu that he has long been strongly aware of Palestinians’ plight.

“It started at a very young age. For the first time, I came from Caserta to Rome to participate in a pro-Palestinian demonstration with my father. I became personally interested in the issue after that,” he said at his photo studio in Rome, adding that he went to Palestine in 2007 after reading up on the matter.

Matteo stressed that his experiences in Palestine affected him greatly.

Particularly on the latest conflict that started on 7 October and the relentless Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip since then, he said:

I couldn’t stand it anymore. I felt the urge to do something. I wanted to at least give a voice on an international level, and on that occasion (Rome Film Festival), I took this shawl there and unfurled it

When asked what he thought of Italy’s ruling right-wing coalition government’s stance on the conflict, Matteo responded:

The government doesn’t prevent the pro-Palestine rallies. But, in the meantime, ENI, Italy’s state energy company, is involved in exploring oil with Israel off Gaza and opening military bases for use of the US military airplanes carrying arms and ammunition

Calling bans on pro-Palestine rallies in some European countries “ridiculous”, he underlined the value of “freedom of expression” on the continent.

“Zionism is widespread and strong in Europe,” he added, noting that the sense of guilt caused by the Holocaust, as well as state interests, have shaped Europe’s policies regarding the conflict.

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