Italy presently has a left-wing government. Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema was one of the strongest opponents of Israel when he was prime minister in 1998-2000. A few decades ago the Italian Left started to use the conflict as a strategic instrument to build domestic political alliances. It is not by chance that the radical shift in the EU's stance toward Israel occurred in a declaration at a 1980 conference in an Italian city, Venice, which demanded the creation of a Palestinian state. It was issued when the PLO still explicitly said that it wanted to destroy Israel. The new Italian Right led by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has to a large extent relegitimized pro-Israel positions in Italy. Yet almost the entire Left and large parts of the Catholic world retain their anti-Israel views.