Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attended a Rosh Hashana meal held at the Rome residence of Israel's ambassador. Among his blessings and wishes for the new year, the Italian leader addressed the Israel Navy's flotilla raid. "Israel was forced to act the way it did because of a provocation," he said.
Berlusconi, who arrived at the traditional Rosh Hashana meal at the residence of Ambassador Gideon Meir and his wife Meira, spoke of international public relations efforts he led in favor of Israel following the flotilla.
During the meal, the Italian prime minister spoke on the phone with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to send his well wishes for the Jewish New Year. "I wish you, your family, and all the citizens of Israel a happy holiday," said Berlusconi.
Berlusconi also spoke of the political scandal in which he is currently embroiled in Italy. "Even though I am faced with difficulties, I will continue to serve as prime minister and support you and the people of Israel as much as possible," he said.