Now that it is no longer under copyright protection, Mein Kampf is being distributed freely in Italy as a supplement to the Saturday edition of the Italian newspaper Il Giornale distributed copies of the book in a decision that drew heavy criticism from Italian Jewish groups.
The president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Renzo Gattegna has been quoted as saying: “The free distribution … is a squalid fact that is light years away from all logic of studying the Shoah and the different factors that led the whole of humanity to sink into an abyss of unending hatred, death and violence.”
“It must be stated clearly: The Giornale’s operation is indecent,” Gattegna said on the announcement of the paper’s decision.
Il Giornale is a center-right daily owned by the family of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. The paper says that its version of the text was annotated by an Italian historian and was distributed with the goal of preventing the mistakes of the past from being repeated.
n an editorial, Alessandro Sallusti, the paper’s director, said that most of the discussions related to the publication were “legitimate and understandable”and that “The worries of our friends within the Italian Jewish community, who have always seen us as unconditional allies, deserve all our respect.” However, he also said that he strongly disagreed with those saying the paper published the autobiography with an“apologetic intention.” Critics had previously argued that the newspaper might have distributed the book in an attempt to underplay Hitler’s crimes.
For more on this, see here.
I believe that copyright protection is too long. That as may be, I think that all works should enter the public domain after they come off copyright. I am generally against banning books. I don’t think that Mein Kampf should be banned. Nor do I think that Torat HaMelekh, Baruch HaGever or other extreme right Israeli books should be banned. If anything, banning them gives them publicity that they would not otherwise have. I think that banning books and political opinions that one disagrees with is unhealthy. However, I am NOT Charlie. I don’t believe in being offensive of other’s religious beliefs.
I do however agree with Israel Minister of Culture, Miri Regev, that the government does not have to use tax payers’ money to fund anything and everything posing as culture. Tax funding can be used to subsidize cultural expressions that are mainstream or that the government sees as educational or positive. Not everything should be paid from by the public purse.
As to Mein Kampf, whilst reference libraries should have copies, I do not think that this particular work is the appropriate weekend supplement or gift for widespread distribution and if I subscribed to Il Giornale, would cancel my subscription.
The British Red Cross edition shown above goes a long way to explain why I refuse to donate to the British Red Cross. I think that even in the 1930s it was less anti-Semitic than the Red Cross of other European countries. This explains a lot about why the International Red Cross wouldn’t recognize Israel’s Magen David Adom badge, and why I opposed Olmert from agreeing to replace it with a red diamond. I note that the Palestine Red Crescent Society was founded in 1968, by Fathi Arafat, Yasser Arafat‘s brother. This goes a long way to explain the use of ambulances to smuggle weapons.
I fully support the proposed Israel Law for transparency regarding sources of income of humanitarian organizations financed mostly by foreign governments. Whilst the organizations in question are indeed, mostly left-wing affiliated, that does not make the need for transparency any less. The government did not propose this out of narrow political interests but because it is imperative for people to realize that not ever humanitarian organization is a neutral observer on what happens in Israel. Not every left wing organization is a fifth column, but some are, and people should be aware of this.