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Politician's anti-Semitism sparks outcry in Italy

Monday - 4/14/2014, 5:20pm  ET

ROME (AP) -- An anti-Semitic post by a comedian who founded the Italian parliament's third-largest party has sparked outrage in Italy's tiny Jewish community.

Comedian Beppe Grillo's blog on Monday featured a photo of Auschwitz's gate with the words changed to sarcastically refer to a shadowy organization of Italian business and political figures. It also played with the title of a work by Primo Levi, a now deceased Italian writer who survived deportation to a Nazi death camp.

Italian Jewish community leader Renzo Gattegna, noting Passover started on Monday, denounced the post as "shameful" and "criminal." Leaders of various political parties also decried the post.

Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement was elected to parliament in 2013 and his anti-Semitic statements have raised concern abroad before.

Grillo declined to answer reporters' questions about the post.

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