Greek journalist trivializes Holocaust in a tweet criticizing Opposition leader

Journalist Kostas Vaxevanis, editor of “Documento” newspaper, trivialized Holocaust in a tweet criticizing Opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his statement in favour of the ‘7day work week’. Vaxevanis in his tweet of May 12, 2019 used the inscription over the gate of Auschwitz “Arbeit Macht Frei” to comment on K. Mitsotakis.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) stressed in an announcement the inappropriate use of the symbols of the Holocaust:

The use of this inscription within a political controversy and a journalistic comment is unacceptable because it downgrades, minimizes and trivializes a symbol of horror and Nazi barbarism. In Auschwitz every trace of humanity was lost and inhumanity and harrowing death prevailed. Millions of people were killed there because they were either Jews or “different”.

Read full statement here.

Kostas Vaxevanis responded here.

Holocaust trivialization is a recurrent phenomenon in Greek politics. For example, a cartoon published in the leftist newspaper Efimerida ton Syntakton in July 2018 depicted the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp with the message “the 12-hour [work day] sets you free,” to protest plans for a 12-hour work day in Austria (more information).

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Vandals desecrate the Jewish Cemetery of Trikala

TRIKALA_VANDALISMOS_2018Via kis.gr

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the dismay of the entire Greek Jewry and strongly condemns the vandal attack that once more occurred against the Jewish cemetery of Trikala.

More specifically, followers of racism and antisemitism vandalized and destroyed eight tombs and tombstones -among which the two graves of the parents of the President of the Jewish Community of Trikala.

Following the lawsuit against persons unknown, pressed by the Jewish Community of Trikala, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece calls upon law enforcement authorities to take all necessary measures for the arrest of the perpetrators and the protection of the city’s Jewish cemetery, which -apart from its sacred nature- reflects the historic course of the Jewish presence in Trikala.

We believe that the municipal authorities together with the society of Trikala will not allow the followers of hatred to harm the harmonious coexistence of all the citizens of Trikala, regardless of skin color, race or religion.

Athens, October 12, 2018

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Greece: Leftist newspaper publishes cartoons demonizing Israel

Via Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Two sketches by Michalis Kountouris, with strong messages of demonisation of Israel and unacceptable parallelism with the Holocaust, were published in the “Efimerida Syntakton” (EFSYN. – “Editors’ Journal”) on 10th and 11th April 2018. The sketches were commented on with the following article entitled “Bloody Handprints” – published in the issue of the EFSYN of 16.4.18 – by the journalist and General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Victor Is. Eliezer.

The sketches also stirred a reaction from Israel’s Ambassador to Greece, Ms. Irit Ben-Abba (letter to the EFSYN 11/4/2018), and journalist Dimitris Psarras (through his article “We do not Forget the Holocaust” EFSYN  16/4/2018).

  • Victor Is. Eliezer: “Bloody Handprints” EFIMERIDA SYNTAKTON  16/4/2018

Yom Hashoah. Holocaust Day, 11th April 2018. The Jews mourn for their 6,000,000 fellow Jews who were unjustly and brutally killed in the gas chambers of the Nazi camps! On the same day, in Greece, the “EFSYN”, known for its merciless struggle against anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism, hosted a sketch in which an Israeli soldier leaves the prints of his bloodied hands on the Wailing Wall, next to many other bloody handprints of other people who apparently prayed before him. You know, all the Jews have visited the Wailing Wall, many of us pray and touch the Wall that is what is left of the Temple of Solomon. The bloody handprints, according to the cartoonist, could be the bloody handprints of every Jew who has visited the Wailing Wall!  One day earlier, another sketch (by the same cartoonist) appeared in the newspaper, where the Gaza Strip was identified with a prisoner of Nazi concentration camps.

[…]

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Greek Jews call for the abolition of the “burning of the Judas”

Burning of Judas Tolo 2018

The ‘burning of the Judas’ in the village of Tolo, on the Peloponnese peninsula (Easter 2018). Screenshot via YouTube.

Announcement by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

During the Easter holidays, various customs take place in our country. One of these is the “burning of the effigy of Judas”, which takes place in some areas of the country. This custom perpetuates stereotyped perceptions against the Jews. It is significant that the custom has almost been eliminated in the rest of Europe.

In the past, we, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, have repeatedly proceeded with representations to competent bodies in order to stop the custom in our country. The fact that the Church of Greece, with its Synodic Circulars of 1891, 1910 and 1918, demanded that “these customs are expressly forbidden” is of particular significance.

We believe that this custom not only offends the Greek Jewish community but also affects every effort towards the understanding and respect of common values ​​that characterise Judaism and Christianity. We hope that everyone will eventually contribute to the abolition of this custom that does not serve the spirit of love and reconciliation which is conveyed during the days of Easter.

Athens, 11 April  2018

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Greek leftist columnist denounces antisemitism surveys and demonizes Israel (once again)

Via kis.gr

In an article published on the news site enikos.gr (May 10, 2017), entitled “In bloody ink”, journalist and cartoonist Stathis (Stavropoulos) denounces attempts to incriminate criticism against Israel that present it as anti-Semitism in order to annul such political criticism. The article is accompanied by a cartoon which pictures free opinion killed by Israel. The article and cartoon were Stathis response to the publication of a survey on Anti-Semitism in Greece which shows high rates of anti-Semitic feelings in Greece.

In a statement, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expressed the outrage of the Greek Jewry at Stathis’ antisemitic libel:

[…] And it is obvious for us that even the sharpest criticism against the policy of the Israeli Government has nothing to do with Anti-Semitism. However, when -according to a recent research, 65% of the Greeks agree with the opinion that “Israel treats the Palestinian exactly as the Nazis treated the Jews”, then all –politicians and journalists alike- need to take responsibility for reproducing the industrialized propaganda of delegitimization of the State of Israel.

“Traditional Anti-Semitism” defies and demonizes the personal right of every Jew to live as an equal member of the society. “New anti-Semitism” defies and demonizes the collective right of the Jews to live as an equal nation in the land of Israel, among the society of Nations.

Stathis’ writing and the accompanying cartoon qualify him as a genuine representative of both traditional and new anti-Semitism. It is a pity!

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Relevant:

stathis_antifasistika

Ariel Sharon dressed like a Nazi with a swastika on his arm stating “Fascism is not only the logic of killing, but primarily killing logic” appears on the cover of Stathis Stavropoulos’ collection of cartoons “The anti-fascist, anti-racist [cartoons]” (Athens 2016).

Piraeus Metropolitan Seraphim Sued for Antisemitic Remarks

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Metropolitan of Piraeus Seraphim (source: wikipedia)

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece reports:

The Metropolitan Bishop of Piraeus Seraphim, repeated his fierce anti-Semitic rhetoric in his announcement of April 28, uploaded on the official website of the Archdiocese of Piraeus. This reaction was triggered after the Holy Synod overturned its initial decision to appoint Seraphim as the Greek Orthodox Church’s representative to the ceremony lighting the Holy Light of Easter (taking place  every year at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem during the Great Saturday). In Seraphim’s place, another Metropolitan, Athinagoras of Ilion, represented the Church in the ceremony.

As a response, in his long anti-Semitic libel announcement, Metropolitan Seraphim claimed that he was replaced because Israel declared him as persona non grata and accused Israel of interfering with the Church’s issues. He also specified that his views are not anti-Semitic but anti-Zionist and that Orthodox Christians stand against Zionism and especially against the wing of Zionism that seeks world domination. Seraphim also quoted the Old Testament and the New Testament, which he interprets through his anti-Semitic and Jew-Hating views, and accused all the other Christian doctrines of being in favor of Jews. He also quoted the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and referred to masonry (and other international organizations) as the arms used by Zionism to secure infiltration and state manipulation.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued the following announcement, protesting against this new anti-Semitic attack, while NGO Greek Helsinki Monitor filed a lawsuit against Seraphim for anti-Semitism.

Greece: Imam rejoices over the recent fires in Israel – he then apologizes

Via kis.gr

kis-logo_

A Muslim religious figure of Xanthi, Imam Erkan Azizoglou (of the village of Glafki) posted on his facebook account (December 4, 2016) hate anti-Semitic comments. The Imam wished for the fires that burst out in Israel not to be put out!  In response to the reaction caused by his statement and the comments posted on line (asking not to make parallels between the State and the people who live in it) the Imam debated that “All the Israelis are the same. They are all as a monster that is fed on blood”. With these hate comments, totally inappropriate for a religious leader, Erkan Azizoglou threatens peaceful coexistence among Greek citizens regardless of religion in this sensitive region. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece is always in alert to fight against anti-Semitic rhetoric expressed by any part.

Athens December 19, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Related:

 – The apology of Imam Azizoglou on the website of the Racist Crimes Watch (Jan. 7.2017): On January 7, 2017, Imam Azizoglou posted an apology on the website of the Racist Crimes Watch (of the NGO Greek Helsinki Monitor). The Imam notified that he erased his comments from his facebook account and apologized to those offended. The comment also reads: “The legitimate condemnation of the Israeli policy towards the Palestinians should not include elements that offend the majority of the population of the country based on its ethnic and religious identity”.

Ioannina Synagogue Vandalized with Swastikas

KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR SWASTIKAS GRAFFITI ON THE SYNAGOGUE OF IOANNINA

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

Source: kis.gr

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Photo courtesy of Alekos Raptis, Ioannina 12/09/2016

 

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Photo courtesy of Alekos Raptis, Ioannina 12/09/2016

Religious representative in Xanthi: “Curse against Israel!” & “Hitler was right”

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece was informed by a recent press article of the newspaper “Parapolitica” (March 19, 2016) that Ahmet Mete, a religious figure in Xanthi, a city in northeastern Greece, during his speech delivered in August 2014 at the village of Glafki, stated inter alia:

“Curse against Israel! For these are the ones turned into soap by the Germans. But Hitler was right when he said: now you will be angry with me but one day I will be proved right about the Jews. Now our curse goes upon them, and our prayers upon our brothers”.

Read more at kis.gr

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The press article of “Parapolitica” on Ahmet Mete (March 19, 2016). Via http://fonirodopis.gr/press/64536