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Leading Italian neo-fascist Matteo Salvini embraced by Israel Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Leading Italian neo-fascist Matteo Salvini embraced by Israel

Salvini is considered a rising star in nationalist movements sweeping Europe [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 December, 2018

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Far-right, anti-migrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini was welcomed by Binyamin Netanyahu, the latest in a string of nationalist leaders to visit Israel.
One of Europe's most controversial political figures, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, arrived in Israel for a two-day visit on Tuesday, prompting criticism over his far-right policies and anti-migration views.

Salvini is considered the driving force in Italy's government and a rising star in nationalist movements sweeping Europe.

He began his trip by touring Israel's northern border with Lebanon, where the Israeli army has uncovered tunnels it says were built by Hizballah for attacks.

Set to hold a press conference later on Tuesday, Salvini will also meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

Before winning power, Salvini had travelled to Israel, where he gushed: "Israel embodies the perfect balance of different realities, while ensuring law and order. It surely is a role model for security and anti-terrorism policies."

Netanyahu has recently welcomed a string of contentious nationalist leaders to Israel, including Hungary's authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, widely accused of committing human rights abuses.

Now read: How Israel became a beacon for western fascists

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