By Sylvia Gurinsky
This wasn't two elegantly dressed gate-crashers at a White House state dinner.
In fact, the attack on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday called to mind something far more horrifying and tragic - the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.
Like Rabin, Berlusconi was in a public place. Like Rabin, Berlusconi dealt with a hostile opposition (For wildly different reasons: Rabin dealt with the opposition to his efforts at peace with the Palestinians, while Berlusconi deals with corruption charges and a sex life that apparently rivals that of golfer Tiger Woods.).
An Associated Press story said Berlusconi usually has about 30 security agents around him. But the question of how an attacker could get so close with a souvenir statue will persist.
The memories of the kidnap and assassination of one-time Italian premier Aldo Moro in 1978 and the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1981 are still fresh. The attack on Berlusconi should have both security officials and the Italian parliament asking detailed questions.