Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos called on the Justice Ministry to take action against a neo-Nazi lawmaker after he made anti-Israel comments in parliament.
Speaking during a debate in parliament on Monday, Christos Pappas, from the Golden Dawn party, called Israel an “eternal enemy of Greece and Orthodoxy,” a reference to Greece’s official church.
Kammenos has himself in the past been criticized for anti-Semitic comments, after claiming in 2014 that Greek Jews paid fewer taxes than other Greeks, but since taking up the position of defense minister has overseen increasingly warm ties with Israel.
- The leader of the right-wing Independent Greeks Party, Panos Kammenos, is not the only Greek politician who has been accused of disseminating antisemitic rumors or trivializing the Holocaust. To mention but two examples: Dimitris Kammenos of the Independent Greeks Party was forced to resign after receiving ministerial post in September 2015 over an outcry about a series of anti-Semitic and homophobic tweets. Panagiotis Sgouridis, another Independent Greeks MP, abused the memory of the Holocaust in June 2015 by mentioning Gaza during a speech about the murdered Jews of Kavala and saying that “victims become bullies.”
- Syriza Party has called Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza two years ago “a crime against humanity”. Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled met with Dimitris Papadimoulis, Syriza MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament, in its headquarters in Brussels in February 2016. Syriza, a left-wing party that despite its past support for the Palestinians has sought to strengthen ties with Israel, has called Khaled in a statement issued after the meeting an “activist with a historical role in the Palestinian Resistance.”