February 11, 2010

Philosophy of Freedom

Perhaps unexpectedly, some ten days ago, during his visit in Israel, Silvio Berlusconi said he hopes to bring the Jewish State into the European Union. “I have been hoping that for a long time now,” he also said. Yet, it’s an undeniable fact that under Berlusconi’s leadership, Italy has become one of Israel’s strongest allies in Europe. And this after decades of a pro-Arab tilt by previous Italian governments. “I can think of very few nations who have made such a contribution to Western culture as our two nations. In Rome and Jerusalem, the foundations for Western culture were laid,” he added.

However, it’s also undeniable that Italy remains Iran’s largest trading partner within the European Union. But, at the same time, Iran is the greatest threat that Israel faces today. Quite a philosophical dilemma—philosophy of money, of course…

Yet, Netanyahu seemed not to be too worried about that, he embraced his guest warmly, calling his arrival a “historic visit.” “Not every day do we get the privilege to host one of Israel’s greatest friends, a brave leader who is a great fighter for freedom and an enthusiastic supporter of peace,” he said. As a matter of fact, he turned out to be right, because Berlusconi (and Frattini) promised that Italy would act responsibly if new sanctions were imposed on Iran, despite the vast interests of Italian companies there, since halting Iranian nuclear ambitions takes precedence over commercial considerations.

Philosophical dilemmas are often false dilemmas, if it is true what a great expert in this kind of things had to say to one of his best friends, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy!” Some of these things (if not all!) might seem to be  nonsense to the above mentioned philosophers, but “their” philosophy (or religion) isn’t the only school of thought, after all. There is also a philosophy of freedom: I think that Berlusconi, in spite of all his “human imperfections,” belongs to the latter school of thought. And I like to think that’s why so many people like him. And that’s also why the enemies of freedom—including those who a few hours ago tried to assault the Italian embassy in Tehran shouting “Death to Italy,” and “Death to Berlusconi”—hate him so much.

Would you have ever believed it? Italy gained the privilege of having its embassies assaulted! When will we have our flags burned?