When she walks down the streets in Italy, passersby shout greetings to her, addressing her as onorevole. "In a few days," Italian Parliamentarian Fiamma Nirenstein said to me the other day in a long, energetic, and remarkably openhearted phone call from Rome, "I will not be onorevole anymore."
Nirenstein, one of the most prominent members of the Italian Parliament, has chosen not to run for office again. More than that, she has chosen to leave Italy for Israel. She is Jewish. She is making aliyah. And she is leaving politics to return to journalism.
She has mixed feelings about the change. "As a journalist, you're read. By some. But when you're an onorevole, all you have to say is that you're angry about something and a whole lot of people in the press will write about it. And you can write a law, and spread the word, and win support, and get it passed." In many regards, Fiamma is like former Dutch parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, not only because both women have made use of their political positions to vigorously challenge Islam and defend its victims, but because both ended up having to be accompanied everywhere by armed guards – and also because Fiamma, like Ayaan before her, is a top-rank European hero of our time who has decided that she has no alternative other than to leave Europe.