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The diplomacy of Good

by Gabriele Nissim

The plaque at the entrance of the Garden of the Righteous of Tunis

The plaque at the entrance of the Garden of the Righteous of Tunis

The remarks by Gariwo chairman, Gabriele Nissim, the occasion of the inauguration of the Garden of the Righteous of Tunis

Dear Ambassador de Cardona, dear Dr. Ben Moussa, honourable Ministers, dear Ambassadors,

It matters to me a lot to underline that after the terrible attack in Nice today’s initiative, which my association Gariwo has promoted together with our Embassy, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is an act of great moral courage.

Today, for the first time in history we are inaugurating a Garden of the Righteous in an Arab country to bring about the figures of five Muslim Righteous who set an example for the whole humanity.

In the face of those who sow terror and pitilessly murder hundreds people, including women and children, whose only guilt is to love life, we instead celebrate those individuals who are ready to sacrifice themselves for the opposite principle to the one that motivates terrorists.

The Righteous’ creed is very simple: they love the others, love the human plurality and beauty, and do not accept a world vision dividing people by their religion, culture and nationality. For the people we are remembering here today, human beings are equal and there are no first or second-class citizens.

It is not by chance that we are holding this event precisely in Tunis, a country in the forefront for its ability to defend freedom and democracy.

We have a very ambitious aim. We want to launch in Europe and the whole Middle East, what I love to call as the diplomacy of Good.

In the face of wars, fundamentalist terrorists, and crimes against the humanity, we set ourselves the goal to make the whole world aware of all the tales of goodness, humanity, and solidarity, which no one talks about and which unfortunately remain unknown

We in fact are persuaded that, if Goodness is rediscovered and brought again into the spotlight, it can become a positive catchy disease able to influence many young people in Europe, as well as inthe Middle East.

The Good we are telling about today can become a great ideal force of attraction and lead to the defeat those who sow hatred, exploiting religion to justify the most gruesome acts against the humanity.

Today, we need to build a thought of Good that prove stronger than the terrorist thought. We in fact can defeat them only through a great cultural battle that deprive them of every minimum kind of legitimization. We must say loud that the martyrs of terror who commit suicide by killing others are the worst people, who remind us the Nazis.

The values that urge us to live on, as well asvto suffer and sacrifice ourselves are absolutely different: they are those that stem from our love of the whole humanity. For these value sacrificed himself in Dhaka the young Faraaz Hussein, and risked his life the Tunisian guide Hamadi Abdesslem, to take into safety some forty Italians at the Bardo Museum.

I wish the garden of the Righteous of Tunis will be only the first one and more will follow in Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Iraq. When we succeed in this, it will mean we will have defeated the terrorists.

There is another reason why we really care about the diplomacy of Good and the Garden of the Righteous of Tunis.

We want all these tales of moral courage of the Arab and Muslim Righteous are known by the people in Italy and Europe. Until now there has been a lot of ignorance, and many have not understood, yet that the defeat of terrorism first of all passes through a great alliance between the Arabs and Muslims against the same common enemy.

Making these stories known can retain a great significance to respond to those who, falling prey to terror, propose walls for the migrants and foster dangerous prejudice about the Arabs and Muslims.

Dear friends, I am very confident that, although we are living in difficult times, the Righteous we are celebrating today give us a great hope in the future of humanity.

As already happened with Nazism, terrorists will never be able to change the human spirit. These people remind us of this, because in every human being Goodness and conscience are something mysterious that in the end prevails.

We thus have to be all very proud for today. We have celebrated the feast of Good in this great embassy.

Gabriele Nissim, Gariwo chairman

Analysis by Gabriele Nissim, Gariwo chairman

19 July 2016

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