New York, NY, December 6, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the decision by Italian authorities to expel former Klansman and avowed white supremacist David Duke from the country based on what the court described as his “socially dangerous racist and anti-Semitic views.”
A Venice court upheld the decision of the police in the northern province of Belluno denying Duke a residential permit. The decision backed a Swiss travel and residence ban enacted in 2009 against Duke, which was also valid in Italy.
“We commend the police and the judiciary in Italy for recognizing that David Duke is a dangerous anti-Semite and racist who poses a serious threat to civil society,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “His recent attempts to establish a neo-Nazi group in Europe are only a continuation of his four decade-long crusade to spread his hateful racist ideology in the U.S. and around the world.”
The move to oust Duke was the latest in a series of steps by Italian authorities to crack down on far-right extremists operating within their borders. In November, the country’s anti-terror police raided the homes of suspected members of the white supremacist Internet forum Stormfront, in 20 cities, following a similar crackdown last year. And, in 2012, the anti-terror police arrested Renato Pallavidini, a Holocaust denier, who threatened to “go to the synagogue very near to my house, with my pistol, and gun down some parasite Jews.”
“The Italian authorities continue to show their determination to confront far-right extremism, and we appreciate their vigilance in protecting the security of the Jewish community of Italy and of all its citizens,” said Mr. Foxman.
In July 2013, in an interview on Iran’s Press TV promoting his latest book, “The Secret Behind Communism,” Duke professed that Congress “is totally in the hands of the Zionists” and added that “the Zionists control the American government, lock, stock and barrel.” Duke also spewed anti-Semitic epithets, calling Jews “tyrants” who “control our finances.”
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.