14 May 2012
On 14 and 15 May 2012, WJC President Amb. Ronald S. Lauder, and Secretary General, Dan Diker, together with International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians (ICJP) delegates from several European countries (Belgium, France, Hungary, Serbia, Sweden) and from Israel, held a working session at the Italian Parliament in Rome to define common goals and strategies to face the alarm of the overall rise in anti-Semitism and extremism in Europe. The participants also met with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Speaker of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Gianfranco Fini and Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, to discuss the core issues on the agenda of Jewish parliamentarians in Europe and around the world.
On the evening of 14 May, WJC President Lauder and ICJP Chairperson, Fiamma Nirenstein, presented the first 'Friendship Award' to Pierluigi Battista, leading columnist of Il Corriere della Sera daily, for his commitment to the fight against anti-Semitism and the de-legitimization of the State of Israel. The ceremony was hosted by Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata at the historical Villa Madama, in the presence of Israel’s Ambassador to Italy Naor Gilon, Italian members of parliament and dignitaries.