Comment: Berlusconi blabber
21 November 2013
ROME-Silvio Berlusconi's recent remarks relating his political criticisms and court battles to the persecution of "Jewish families in Germany under Hitler's regime" are really not that surprising for a person who has an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to his controversies.
Tax fraud, sex with minors, and abuses of power aside, much of Silvio Berlusconi's controversy finds itself deeply rooted in a field of ignorance. What is most troubling about the statements that Signor Berlusconi has made is that he does not seem to learn from his mistakes, but rather he casts them aside and moves on, only to repeat similar actions.
In 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks against the United States, the "Cavaliere" contrasted the "superiority of our civilisation" to that of Islamic countries. Then in 2008, he noted that newly elected President Barack Obama was quite "suntanned." The underlying issue with these remarks is sheer ignorance of racial and cultural fact. Signor Berlusconi's most recent comments follow a similar pattern.
Comparing personal attacks to the suffering endured by roughly six million Jews who were ruthlessly imprisoned, tortured, and slaughtered is both ignorant and insensitive. There is no logical way to form a connection. However, just as troubling is the matter that Signor Berlusconi's "apologies" appear insincere.
In reponse to criticisms from his latest remark, he explained that he has a "friendship toward Israel." That line of defence sounds exactly like the sort of argument one who has just uttered a racial slur would make, justifying the remark by admitting to having a black friend. The "Cavaliere" continues in his response, clarifying his "awareness of the tragedy" and expressing his "respect" for the Jewish people. This is the sort of empty apology one would expect from a five-year-old. It lacks concreteness, emotion, and a real understanding of what was wrong with his prior statement. This is the type of behaviour every politician should avoid, and Silvio Berlusconi exemplifies it.
Very soon the Senate will decide on the "Cavaliere's" political fate in response to his tax conviction. With any hope, they should agree to ban him from holding any sort of public office in the future for he is unfit to do so. Because really, when was the last time Silvio Berlusconi actually apologised sincerely?