2016 (EN)

He died out after years of battle against an incurable evil - which he had told me several times about - in the American hospital in Beirut.
A supporter of the peace dialogue with Israel, in the long years spent in Italy Nemer helped to change the image of the Palestinians in a positive way, taking a clear stand against terrorism and opening dialogue with all democratic forces. He became the face and voice of the PLO's requests, also managing moments of crisis and tension in years marked by terrorist attacks, such as those at Fiumicino and at the synagogue in Rome.
I was often in his Roman house: always full of photographs with Arafat, boxes filled with cards and letters. There was a lot of Italy inside there, which reported - as witnessed by friends and journalists - "to diplomats of other times, parallel channels, delicate operations".
In the Palaces that were important at that time, Aldo Moro, Enrico Berlinguer, Bettino Craxi, and the Second Republic wiped out everything, yet Nemer Hammad was still able to drive the Palestinian question in the right rooms.
When Hammad arrived in Italy the climate was incandescent, Palestinian terrorism struck Europe, there had just been the massacre of Monaco, Carlos "the jackal" was about to seize the ministers of Opec in Vienna. Then - Hammad recounted - the relationship between Olp and Farnesina did not exist, but finally in 1974 Giancarlo Pajetta del Pci was presented to me at a conference ". And since then, for Hammad, the doors of the Dc, Psi, Psdi and Psdi were opened. Including those that had never been crossed such as the Vatican, the Chamber of Deputies. (The holster of Arafat's pistol, he told me, that much controversy had provoked during that visit to Montecitorio was empty).
One of the most touching moments for me was when they kidnapped Aldo Moro, whom I knew personally ", he recalled with sincere regret," to ask me for help not only were the Christian Democrat leaders, but I was also urged by the opposition, Craxi and Berlinguer. I would have moved even if nobody had asked for anything, Moro was a great statesman for us ". Hammad talked about it to Arafat and his right-hand man Abu Jihad (Khalil al Wazir). We weren't in contact with Br,"he said," but Abu Jihad was convinced that in East Berlin there was someone who could hook them up... but it was a hole in the water ".
It was in the seventies and eighties that Nemer Hammad made every effort to prevent Italy from becoming a battlefield between armed factions. The Abu Nidal terrorist attack on the synagogue in Rome and then at Fiumicino airport was a blow behind us, we collaborated with the Italian services. A year later, we identified three terrorists in Rome who were preparing an attack, we reported it to the services that arrested them ". We - he said warmly - wanted to avoid the Palestinian equation=terrorism, we were the first victims of Abu Nidal "who in those years killed six Palestinian ambassadors in Europe. The Italians, from Craxi to Andreotti to De Mita - understood in which abyss we were pushed and who needed to help ".
In the short interval from the Roman years of Nemer Hammad there was the hijacking of the Achilles Lauro. Twelve hours after the kidnapping his telephone rang in the apartment he occupied in Belgrade, on the other side of the wire Craxi asked for advice.
In recent years I have met him several times in Ramallah as an advisor to Abu Mazen. He was sorry not to have accompanied "His" President from "His Friend Michael" in April 2013 during his visit to the Mediterranean Foundation.
His gaze was always veiled with melancholy when he talked about Italy and, especially, Rome: a city he loved to be mad.
Goodbye, Dear Nemer, thank you for your support for the initiatives of the Fondazione Mediterraneo. Your presence will remain in memory and heart and, among all, that of the establishment of our headquarters in Lecce when sitting at the restaurant table we sang Palestinian and Jewish songs with Nabil and Noha: a sign of your tireless action for peace between two peoples "Siamese" (so you have defined them).
It is no coincidence that his death occurs on the day of Shimon Peres' funeral.
Another signal - if ever there was still any need! For Two Peoples destined by History and Geography to live side by side, in TWO STATES. In PEACE.