BY Daniel Estrin
In recent years, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cultivated friendships with rising nationalist and far-right leaders in Europe. His supporters say it’s a smart diplomatic move to chip away at the European Union’s longtime critique of Israeli policies — the nationalist leaders tend to be pro-Israel. But some Israelis argue Netanyahu is too accommodating of these leaders’ controversial views on Holocaust history.
Last week, Israel welcomed the leader of Italy’s far right, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. Called a neo-fascist by his left-wing critics, Salvini was accused of embracingWorld War II-era dictator and Hitler ally Benito Mussolini when he echoed Mussolini’s words in a tweet marking the anniversary of his birth. Netanyahu last Wednesday called Salvini “a great friend of Israel.”