In a post on Facebook, Mr Isaac Alhanati accuses vandals for making an attempt to destroy the monument at the Jewish cemetery in Thessaloniki (located at the Observatory Park of the Thessaloniki University). The photograph we publish with the permission of Mr. Alhanati shows severe damage caused to the menorah on the monument. The memorial has been vandalized in December 2014 – just weeks after the inauguration ceremony – with the slogan “Free Palestine”.
The monument in memory of the old Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki was unveiled on Sunday, November 9, 2014:
[h/t Andrea Gilbert]
Απόπειρα καταστροφής του Μνημείου σε ανάμνηση του Εβραϊκού Νεκροταφείου της Θεσσαλονίκης (πάρκο του Αστεροσκοπείου του Α.Π.Θ.) από βανδάλους καταγγέλλει ο κ. Ισαάκ Αλχανάτης με ανάρτησή του στο Facebook. Η φωτογραφία που δημοσιεύουμε με την άδεια του κ. Αλχανάτη δείχνει σοβαρές ζημιές στη μενορά του μνημείου. Υπενθυμίζουμε ότι το μνημείο έχει ήδη υποστεί βανδαλισμό το Δεκέμβρη του 2014 – λίγες μόνο εβδομάδες μετά τα αποκαλυπτήρια – με το σύνθημα “Free Palestine”.
Greece regularly reports hate crime data to ODIHR. Greece’s Criminal Code contains a general penalty-enhancement provision for hate crimes. The Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the State Security headquarters of the Greek Police collect hate crime data.
The Greek Helsinki Monitor and the Racist Violence Reporting Network (RVRN) reported a physical assault and two incidents of vandalism targeting Jewish cemeteries. The Greek Helsinki Monitor, the RVRN, the Kantor Center and the European Centre for Democracy Development reported two additional incidents of vandalism in which Holocaust memorials were vandalized with graffiti, one of which was also reported by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The Kantor Center reported two additional incidents of graffiti.
Find the full data for 2015 here.
On September 12, 2016, the exterior of the Synagogue of Ioannina was found by local Jewish Community members desecrated with swastikas graffiti. The authorities were notified. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued the following announcement:
Vandal racists defaced with swastikas the exterior of the surrounding wall of the historic Synagogue of Ioannina, situated in the old walled city, the Kastro (Castle). Vandals drew swastikas also in some houses of the surrounding area.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expressed the Greek Jewry’s repudiation for this hideous act and urged the competent authorities to work for the arrest of the perpetrators as well as for the adequate protection of the Synagogue so as to contain such incidents that stain the image of the city of Ioannina.
Athens, September 12, 2016
Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
Police early on Wednesday detained 10 suspected members of the anarchist group Rouvikonas – the Greek name for Rubicon – who barged into the departures area of Athens International Airport and started shouting slogans near the check-in desks of Israeli airline El Al.
The protesters shouted “No to the agents of Mossad” and “No tolerance to the bullying of Mossad” as travelers were waiting to check in to their flight.
Update: In a posting online, they claim that the security staff working for El Al are Mossad agents and that other Mossad agents are among the passengers during the El Al flights They also stigmatize Israel as the „oppressor“ in the Middle East while considering Palestinians as inherently oppressed.
The Holocaust Memorial in Athens has been recently desecrated, according to Huffingtonpost.gr. The article claims that the perpetrators daubed the letters “ΡβΚΟ”, which is possibly the Slovenian word “PEKO” meaning “baking”. It also claims that the police have CCTV video of the site and are “looking for the perpetrators.” The desecration was discovered between June 9 and 10.
Back in June 2014, vandals desecrated with antisemitic and threatening graffiti the Holocaust Memorial in Athens. The graffiti included a purported quote from the Talmud saying that Jews who convert should be put to death. Some months later, in October 2014, the Holocaust Monument has been vandalized for the second time within 2014 by the Greek Nazi organisation “Unaligned Meander Nationalists”.
Supporters of PAOK F.C. have sprayed onto a wall in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, antisemitic graffiti calling the supporters of Aris F.C., also based in Thessaloniki, “Sons of a bitch” and “Jews” (in Greek: Εβραίοι).
The graffiti has been recently discovered by lawyer & author Michalis Tremopoulos at the east side of the city.
Blogger Abravanel wrote in 2007:
“It is interesting that once a friend asked me if, as a greek Jew myself, knew if indeed Jews had founded the team of Aris Saloniki. I answered that to the best of my knowledge that this was not true and I inquired on why he wanted to know. He replied that often other fans accused him that his team was founded by Jews and he wanted to verify it! Apparently the simple fact that possibly a jew could be involved in the founding of a team was a reason enough to be contaminated, a kind of original sin. It wasn’t important that Aris doesn’t have anything to do with jews, (neither players, nor managers, nor anything else in his history), it was enough that a jew might have «touched» him to contaminate him forever without any chance of redemption. By the way probably this is the reason of why jews get the dubious honour of getting mentioned twice on the same wall, they get identified with the arch-enemy of PAOK, the team of Aris. So they become target for two reasons: one because as jews they’re a just object of hate and also because they’re identified with the traditional opponents.” (How to insult a greek! 19/3/2007)
Neo-Nazis from AME (Unaligned Meander Nationalists) have sprayed Nazi graffiti in Greece’s third-largest city, Patras, and then boasted of their vandalism on their website. This is nothing new: Back in February 2016, they posed in Patras again executing Nazi salutes alongside newly-painted neo-Nazi graffiti. The said group has claimed responsibility for the vandalism of numerous Jewish monuments and cemeteries.
NGO Greek Helsinki Monitor has already filed a complaint against AME and Combat 18 (another Greek Nazi group) for previous racist and antisemitic acts. XYZ Contagion blog has also reported that the Greek authorities announced in November 2015 that they were conducting a preliminary investigation about the vandalism of the Athens Jewish Cemetery by Combat 18.