Antisemitism in Greece can be violent

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In a recent radio interview, Greek Jewish pharmacist & blogger Iosif Vaena from Thessaloniki said that antisemitism in Greece can be violent:

The Jewish Elementary School in Fleming Street is surrounded by strong fences and anti-terrorist barriers – a response to terror attacks in neighbouring countries and folied attacks in Greece by domestic and foreign organisations. Yet, episodes of vandalism are still happening. In preparation for a feast, a few Jewish religious symbols that were left in the courtyard became the target of unknown individuals who threw eggs at them. Furthermore, Molotov cocktail bombs have been thrown against the Jewish graveyard; the Shoah memorial has ben vandalised; and during demonstrations some members of the Communist Party have attacked the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki offices and the Jewish Youth Club.

Why are these incidents not known although they have been reported by the media? “Because those committing these violent acts are what we consider ‘normal’ people,” explained Vaena. “Our neighbours, our friends, people with whom we go out to drink Ouzo. It is difficult to report them also because antisemitism and conspiracy theories are embedded in Greek society and are not considered outrageous”, he concluded.

Read more: Symbiosis Radio: Interview with Iosif Vaena (10.12.2015)

  • Some other posts related to cases of violent antisemitism in Greece since 2009:
  1. January ’09: antisemitic violence in Greece (Abravanel, the blog)
  2. New Arson in Hania Synagogue (16/01/2010, Abravanel, the blog)
  3. Salonica: Jews clash with antisemite over vandalism (21/07/2011, Abravanel, the blog)
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