During the British mandate in Palestine, the Italian Catholics campaigned for greater Italian involvement in the region’s politics. To achieve this, the religious factors, linked with the necessity to guarantee Catholic rights to the Holy Places and the life of Catholic communities, were often used to reinforce Italian political ambitions. This policy was actively pursued before 1922, the year of the official establishment of the British mandate. Even after this, these issues continued to draw attention, gaining more importance during the periods of crisis such as the disturbances of 1929, the great Arab revolt (1936-1939) and at the beginning of the Second World War. In the same way, during the first Arab-Israeli war, in 1948, the Franciscan Delegation of the Holy Land in Rome pro-moted a campaign to form a so called «militia» to safeguard the Palestinian sanctuaries and protect Italian interests in the region.
The aim of this article is to investigate how these national-religious attitudes changed over the tumultuous period of the British mandate, trying to understand if these campaigns had any influence on Italian policy in that region.
The aim of this article is to investigate the spread into British Palestine of one of the most virulent Anti-Semitic pamphlets: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. To this end, this essay focuses on both local and global issues, bringing to light some aspects of the life and organization of the Latin community in Jerusalem during the early years of the British mandate. On the 5th of January 1926 the official magazine of the Latin Patriarchate, the «Raqib Seyon», published a review of the Arab translation of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, underlining that this book was «worthy to be read by all the Arabs» because it «shows the bad intentions of the Zionists». The Zionist leaders tried to secure a denial from the Holy See and a Vatican declaration denouncing the falsity of The Protocols. The whole issue was directly manged by the World Zionist Organization which establish many channels of communication with the Vatican. The Jewish American association also entered into this controversy, asking that the Vatican distance itself from the review. Despite this strong campaign, the Catholic press remained silent, and the Latin Patriarchate decided to close the «Raqib Seyon» without any explanation.
The article analyzes some of the many testimonies written by Italian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land between the Balfour Declaration (1917) and the promulgation of the conciliar declaration Nostra Aetate, dedicated to the relations between the Catholic Church and non Christian religions. Such an extended time frame allows to achieve two goals. The first is to identify the linguistic transformations in this literary corpus in regards to the representation of the Middle Eastern world through the travel books written by Christian pilgrims, a source so far unused. The second goal concerns the perception that the Catholics had of Judaism in its historical, political and religious dimension, and how these have changed over the decades. By analyzing the linguistic, cultural and ideologi-cal frames used in these travel accounts to describe the complex Palestinian reality first, and the Israeli one after, it will be possible to adopt a different perspective.
The objective of this work is to analyse the Holy See’s attitude in the two-years from the Sanremo Conference, in the April 1920, when the Mandate for Palestine was appointed to Great Britain, and its approval, in July 1922. The Pope was deep concerned for the protection of the Arab-Catholic communities in the Holy Land and for Jerusalem and the Holy Places of Christianity, because of Great Britain support of Zionism and the Protestant and schismatic churches.
Within the international debate on political order in Palestine, we analyze Vatican relations with the British government and Catholic Church attitude towards Zionism, through investigation of Vatican archival collections and the main sources of the Catholic press. The aim is to discover how much weight did the theological factor have on Vatican oppo-sition on British draft Mandate for Palestine.