Geopolitics

Seven Dead After Ship Crashes Into Genoa Port's Control Tower

CORRIERE DELLA SERA, LA REPUBBLICA, RAI NEWS 24, LA STAMPA (Italy)

Worldcrunch

GENOA- A ship crashed into the control tower at Genoa’s port late Tuesday night, killing at least seven people. The ship had been turning to leave the harbor when it hit the tower, knocking most of it into the water, reports Corriere della Sera.

The number of victims has been rising Wednesday morning as rescue efforts continue.

The incident took place around 11 p.m. local time, when a shift change was taking place -- meaning there were more people in the tower than usual. The seven victims include a ship captain and two port authority guards, as confirmed by the spokesperson for the Port Authority on Wednesday morning, says La Stampa.

The Jolly Nero ship bumped the pier during a maneuver to leave the port, with the aid of tugboats, before hitting the tower and destroying it completely. The ship, which is owned by shipping company Ignazio Messina & Co., weighed in at 40,594 tons and measured 239 x 30 meters.

Divers combed the harbor all night, while dozens of rescue workers tried to remove the debris of the tower. At least four injuries were reported, including people pulled out of the water. Rai News24 reports at least three missing.

"It's a terrible tragedy. We're in turmoil, speechless," Port Authority President Luigi Merlo told local TV.

A theory given by experts is that the ship’s two motors had been blocked, making it uncontrollable, according to La Repubblica. The stern, therefore, became overwhelmed and hit the pier and tower. Conditions were calm, according to La Stampa, so the only possibilities can be a wrong maneuver or a failure.

The Mayor of Genoa, Marco Doria, has declared Wednesday a day of mourning for the city.

The tower, before and after:

La torre di controllo del porto di #Genova prima e dopo la collisione col #JollyNero. twitter.com/fanpage/status…

— fanpage (@fanpage) May 8, 2013

What remains of the tower on the pier this morning:

Incidente nel porto di Genova. Quel che rimane della Torre dei piloti stamattina sul molo. #Genova #JollyNero twitter.com/Rainews24/stat…

— RaiNews24 (@Rainews24) May 8, 2013

The remains of the tower

Inferno a #Genova, La Jolly Nero urta torre piloti. Tre vittime, quattro feriti e sei dispersi bit.ly/18WvdFY twitter.com/ilgiornale/sta…

— ilGiornale (@ilgiornale) May 8, 2013

The Jolly Nero ship

PDATE 08.05-00:30 #Genova +++ NAVE#JollyNero CONTRO MOLO GIANO CROLLATA TORRE+++2 morti 5 dispersi #emergenza24 twitter.com/Emergenza24/st…

— Emergenza24 (@Emergenza24) May 7, 2013

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Society

What It Means When The Jews Of Germany No Longer Feel Safe

A neo-Nazi has been buried in the former grave of a Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender – not an oversight, but a deliberate provocation. This is just one more example of antisemitism on the rise in Germany, and society's inability to respond.

At a protest against antisemitism in Berlin

Eva Marie Kogel

-Essay-

BERLIN — If you want to check the state of your society, there's a simple test: as the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, John Jay McCloy, said in 1949, the touchstone for a democracy is the well-being of Jews. This litmus test is still relevant today. And it seems Germany would not pass.


Incidents are piling up. Most recently, groups of neo-Nazis from across the country traveled to a church near Berlin for the funeral of a well-known far-right figure. He was buried in the former grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender, a gravesite chosen deliberately by the right-wing extremists.

The incident at the cemetery

They intentionally chose a Jewish grave as an act of provocation, trying to gain maximum publicity for this act of desecration. And the cemetery authorities at the graveyard in Stahnsdorf fell for it. The church issued an immediate apology, calling it a "terrible mistake" and saying they "must immediately see whether and what we can undo."

There are so many incidents that get little to no media attention.

It's unfathomable that this burial was allowed to take place at all, but now the cemetery authorities need to make a decision quickly about how to put things right. Otherwise, the grave may well become a pilgrimage site for Holocaust deniers and antisemites.

The incident has garnered attention in the international press and it will live long in the memory. Like the case of singer-songwriter Gil Ofarim, who recently claimed he was subjected to antisemitic abuse at a hotel in Leipzig. Details of the crime are still being investigated. But there are so many other incidents that get little to no media attention.

Photo of the grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender

The grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender

Jens Kalaene/dpa/ZUMA

Crimes against Jews are rising

Across all parts of society, antisemitism is on the rise. Until a few years ago, Jewish life was seen as an accepted part of German society. Since the attack on the synagogue in Halle in 2019, the picture has changed: it was a bitter reminder that right-wing terror against Jewish people has a long, unbroken history in Germany.

Stories have abounded about the coronavirus crisis being a Jewish conspiracy; meanwhile, Muslim antisemitism is becoming louder and more forceful. The anti-Israel boycott movement BDS rears its head in every debate on antisemitism, just as left-wing or post-colonial thinking are part of every discussion.

Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.

Since 2015, the number of antisemitic crimes recorded has risen by about a third, to 2,350. But victims only report around 20% of cases. Some choose not to because they've had bad experiences with the police, others because they're afraid of the perpetrators, and still others because they just want to put it behind them. Victims clearly hold out little hope of useful reaction from the state – so crimes go unreported.

And the reality of Jewish life in Germany is a dark one. Sociologists say that Jewish children are living out their "identity under siege." What impact does it have on them when they can only go to nursery under police protection? Or when they hear Holocaust jokes at school?

Germany needs to take its antisemitism seriously

This shows that the country of commemorative services and "stumbling blocks" placed in sidewalks as a memorial to victims of the Nazis has lost its moral compass. To make it point true north again, antisemitism needs to be documented from the perspective of those affected, making it visible to the non-Jewish population. And Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.

That is the first thing. The second is that we need to talk about specifically German forms of antisemitism. For example, the fact that in no other EU country are Jewish people so often confronted about the Israeli government's policies (according to a survey, 41% of German Jews have experienced this, while the EU average is 28%). Projecting the old antisemitism onto the state of Israel offers people a more comfortable target for their arguments.

Our society needs to have more conversations about antisemitism. The test of German democracy, as McCloy called it, starts with taking these concerns seriously and talking about them. We need to have these conversations because it affects all of us. It's about saving our democracy. Before it's too late.

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