Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki desecrated with “Golden Dawn” graffiti

Only days after the desecration with “Free Palestine” graffiti, the Thessaloniki Holocaust memorial was vandalized by Greek nazis with “Golden Dawn” graffiti (see photo of the new vandalism below).

Tens of thousands of Greeks protested today in Thessaloniki the use of the name “Macedonia” in a solution to a dispute between Greece and Republic of Macedonia.

The rally drew around 90,000 people, according to police estimates. It was attended by politicians, members of Greek diaspora groups and some hard-line clerics. MPs of the extreme-right Golden Dawn also joined the protest. (via)

Earlier today, Greek news outlet thestival.gr detected antisemitic leaflets at the White Tower square targeting the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris, and calling him “a slave of the Jews”.



Through the lens of Nissim Levis


Press Release

The Jewish Museum of Greece would like to invite you to the opening of its periodic exhibition “Through the lens of Nissim Levis: a family, an era”, which will take place on Monday, January 22, 2018.

The exhibition will be realised within the framework of a three-year programme of the JMG with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Athens, which continuously, consistently and successfully supports the Museum’s work.

The exhibition focuses on Dr. Nissim Levis’ artistic photography, which covers the time period from the last years of the Ottoman rule (1898 – 1913) and the following years of upheaval and change, until 1930. It allows the visitor a glimpse into the life of a prominent family, within a community belonging to the beautiful northern Greek town of Ioannina, just moments before the War ravaged it and changed the fabric of its society forever, through the murder of the great majority of its Jewish inhabitants.

Read more

More information about Nissim Levis (in Greek)

Antisemitic banner displayed in Larissa

Convention of Greeks Larissa 2018

Supporters of Artemis Sorras, a convicted embezzler, notorious antisemite and conspiracy theorist, rallied last week in the streets of Larissa, capital and largest city of the Thessaly region, displaying a huge antisemitic banner. The banner reads: The Convention of Greeks [the organization founded by Sorras] opposes fascism, Zionist ideology and anything being against Greek values.

Here is footage from the rally including the antisemitic banner:


Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki desecrated with “Free Palestine” graffiti

Vandals desecrated the Thessaloniki Holocaust memorial with “Free Palestine” graffiti.

Back in 2014, the monument in commemoration of the old Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki was desecrated with the same graffiti, just weeks after it was dedicated.

BDS and hypocrisy: letter on Greek musicians Kotsiras and Tsaligopoulou


Mr. Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs
Mrs. Miri Regev, Minister of Culture and Sport
Mr. Yariv Levin, Minister of Tourism

Mrs. Bracha Cohen, The Jerusalem Centre for the Performing Arts
Mrs. Yasmine Levy, artist
Mr. Hichal Tarbut, Rishon le Zion
Mr. Idan Raichel, artist

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We the undersigned wish to inform you about a matter concerning the Greek musicians, Mr. Yiannis Kotsiras and Mrs. Eleni Tsaligopoulou, who have been invited to participate in concerts organized in Israel.

We strongly believe that cultural exchange is a positive mission as are the ties that it builds between the peoples of our two countries. This cooperation has perhaps the greatest potential to foster Israeli-Greek friendship.

However, for this to be so, the cooperation and friendship must also be mutual. And this is precisely the point of our concern.

In November 2015, Mr. Kotsiras and Ms. Tsaligopoulou were invited by the Embassy of Israel in Greece to perform in a concert together with the Israeli singer Idan Raichel. They accepted the invitation at first, only to change their minds and withdraw only a few hours before the concert, and with no explanation. As a result Mr. Raichel performed alone.

It turns out that they were approached by BDS activists in the interim. Given the silence of the two artists, there are two possible explanations for their decision, but speculation is not really required. The first, according to the media and blogs, is they withdrew to protest Israeli policy in Gaza (hardly a new issue); the second was they were informed of some pro-IDF statement made by Mr. Raichel (also irrelevant).

Greek antisemitism is pervasive and serious. It manifests itself in religious, political and media discourse. Antisemitic attitudes were rated at 67% by the 2015 ADL Global Survey. Antisemitism is the norm for most Greeks, regardless of their political convictions. Desecrations of Jewish sacred and cultural sites are common occurrences.

Greek music and culture is very popular in Israel. Greeks visiting Israel are impressed by the warmth of Israelis and their familiarity with Greek performers. Unfortunately, however, the reverse is not the case; few Israeli artists or, for that matter aspects of Jewish culture, are known in Greece. The reasons are obvious – but not pleasant.

Mr. Kotsiras and Mrs. Tsaligopoulou are not the most militant anti-Semites in Greece. Therefore, their selective and contradictory decision to perform in Israel after refusing to perform with an Israeli at home can be seen as 1) hypocritical, 2) purely financially motivated, and 3) cowardly.

Of course, the choice of artists who perform at those events is of the organizers solely. However, we strongly believe that any cooperation between Greeks and Israelis should be based on mutual respect and sincere appreciation. Greek antisemitism is too powerful to be defeated solely by good intentions.

Sincerely yours,

Andrea Gilbert, Jewish Expert, Greek Helsinki Monitor, andrea.gilbert [at] otenet.gr

Vassilis Tsarnas, Racist Crimes Watch administrator, Greek Helsinki Monitor, vasilistsarnas [at] gmail.com

Dimitri Kravvaris, Against Antisemitism blog, dimkrav [at] web.de

אומנים דו פרצופיים (או דר’ ג’קיל ומר הייד) מאת ז’אן כהן*

For English version, click here.

אך הדבר מקבל זווית שונה, היות וכנראה מר קוציראס אינו ידידה של ישראל במיוחד. הייתי אפילו מעז לומר שהוא ככל הנראה נגד ישראל אם אקח בחשבון את התנהגותו בחודש נובמבר 2015.

אז מר קוציראס יחד עם הזמרת גב’ הלני צליגופולו הוזמנו על השגרירות ישראל ביוון להופיע בקונצרט שהיא ארגנה, יחד עם הזמר והיותר הישראלי עידן רייכל.

שעות ספורות לפני תחילת ההופעה שני האומנים היוונים ביטלו את הופעתם. הסיבה לא נודעה מעולם, לפחות רשמית, היות ולא פורסמה שום הודעה.

מפרסומים שונים באותה תקופה בבלוגים ואתרים אנטי ישראליים נבעו שתי גרסאות לגבי החלטתם: ביטול הופעתם הייתה קשורה באי הסכמתם למדיניות ישראל, הקשורה בעזה ובפלסטינאים בכלל או כי האומן הישראלי פיאר את צה”ל כמה ימים קודם, עובדה שלגבי שני האומים היוותה חטא בל יעבור.

ההתייחסות שלי אינה לא למר קוציראס ולא גב’ צליגופולו, ובטח לא בהתנהגותם הבלתי מקצועית לבטל את הופעתם שעות ספורות לפני תחילת הקונצרט. עובדה אחרונה זו מהווה נושא למחשבה עבור בעלי המועדונים שהם ירצו להחתימם להופעות.

הנושא שלי הם האומנים הדופרצופיים.

אותה התנהגות הראו בעבר ,רק צורכי אזכור, אומנים היוונים נוספים. מיקיס תאודוראקיס, המחזאי והסופר יעקובוס קמפנליס (הבלדה של מאוטהואזן) אשר ביקש שלא יועלו יצירותיו מעולם בישראל עד שהוא שמע על השכר והסכים.

נזכיר את “בנו של עם” סטליום קזנד’גיס אשר בפני בית משפט יווני ולאחר הדיון בראיון טלוויזיה אמר ” רק אני וערפאת נלחמים ביהודים”….

ויורגוס דאלארס שכל כך הרגיז את הקהל הישראלי בהשתתפותו הכמעט קבועה בקונצרטים נגד ישראל. עובדה זו גרמה לרבים בישראל לשבור את תקליטיו ברחובות.

כולן הם מוכנים לנסוע לישראל כדי להגדיל את חשבון הבנק שלהם, אך אינם ששים לומר ולו מילה טובה אחת על ישראל עם שובם, אך הם חשוקים להשתתף בכל פעילות אנטי ישראלית נגד “המדינה רוצח”. כנראה מישהו צריך להזכיר להם שאת “החבל אי אפשר לתפוס בשתי קצותיו” ….

למען הצדק ההיסטורי אני חייב להזכיר כאן את הזמרת האהובה לקהל הישראלי בשנות ה – 80 של המאה הקודמת, אלפידה. מהיודע לי, יתכן שיש גם אחרים, הייתה זו היחידה שאם שובה ליוון ספרה ופיארה את ישראל ועוד התקופה שביוון גם “האבנים” היו נגד ישראל.

אני שואל את עצמי האם כל האומנים הדופרצופיים הנ”ל, ואני בטוח שקיימים רבים אחרים פחות ידועים, איך בעמדם מול המראה בבוקר מתרצים את מעשיהם?

מה מצפונם אומר? על מי הם “עובדים” על הישראלים או על הפלסטינאים? כנראה על שניהם ואולי הם חושבים שתפסו “פראיירים” את שניהם בטרם מעיפים מבט חטוף בחשבון הבנק שלהם, מלאי סיפוק.

אני מכבד יותר את האנטי ישראלים האמתיים אשר נלחמים במדינת ישראל ישירות וללא הערות ביניים והסתייגויות, מאשר סוג כזה של אומנים אשר רוצים “הן את כלב שבע והן את אוכל שלם”…

ואם כבר, מדובר בעניין של אתיקה גם אם “הבוכטות הן עבות”.

*ז’אן כהן הוא עיתונאי וכתב קול ישראל ביוון

Thessaloniki: Exhibition banner vandalized with antisemitic graffiti

Τhe exhibition “Shared Sacred Sites in the Balkans and the Mediterranean”, a collaboration between the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography and the Municipality of Thessaloniki, opened on September 23rd.

Only hours after the exhibition opening, the banner outside the venue had been vandalized with antisemitic (“Jews out”) and far-right (“Fatherland, religion, family”) graffiti.


Thessaloniki, September 2017 / Photo courtesy of Iosif Vaena

The two face artists

The two face artists
by Jean Cohen

Cohen.gr Friday 8.9.2017

I read that well-known Israeli singer Jasmine Levy has invited Greek singer Yiannis Kotsiras for a series of three concerts in Israel on the 25th 26th and the 28th of October this year. So far so good.

The wheels start coming off the wagon, when you realize that Kotsiras is not exactly what could be called pro-Israeli. On the contrary. Taking under consideration his behavior on the 25th of November 2015 I would classify him as anti-Israeli.

At the time Mr Kotsiras along singer with Eleni Tsaligopoulou were invited to appear at a concert organized by the Israeli embassy in Greece along with Israeli singer Idan Raichel.

A few hours before the opening of the concert the two Greek artists canceled their appearance. Exactly why they canceled was never explained, officially at least, since no announcement was made by the two singers.

Yet, from various posts on anti-Israeli blogs and sites, one could arrive to one of two conclusions, either they canceled because they disapproved of the treatment of Palestinians in Gaza, or they canceled because a few days before Israeli singer Raichel complimented the IDF, an act considered by them an abomination!!!

But the subject of this article is not Kotsiras or Tsaligopoulou, not even their unprofessional conduct of canceling their appearance a few hour before the curtain went up. As a matter of fact, their conduct should concern any music hall that would want to hire them in the future.

My subject is the two face Greek artists.

They are all willing to perform in Israeli and see their bank accounts get bigger and bigger, but they are very unwilling to say anything good about Israel once they return. On the contrary, they are more than willing to participate in any anti-Israeli activity be that a rally, a performance, or a mass protest against the “murderous state” Somebody must remind them of the saying “you cannot serve two masters”

Then same behavior can be found, by other artists as well, to name a few. Mikis Theodorakis (composer of Zorba the Greek) play writer Jacob Kampanelis (writer of the Ballad of Mauthausen) who declared publicly that he will never allow his work to be performed in Israel, until of course a few years  later he heard the figure involved and agreed.

Not to mention Stelios Kazantzidis who appearing in a Greek court and latter also on TV said “only I and Arafat are fighting the Jews”

Should I remind you of George Dallaras that so angered the Israeli public by his standard appearance in so many anti-Israeli concerts that they started breaking his records in public.

In all fairness I must remind my readers that the darling of the Israeli public Greek singer Elpida was the only one that I know of, there might be others too, that every time she came back from a concert in Israel she had nothing but praises for the country. And let us not forget that the 80’s was the most dark and frightening decade for Greek Israeli relations.

I wonder all these two face artist, and I’m sure there are more, what do they think when they look themselves in the mirror in the morning. How do they rationalize this kind of behavior?

What does their conscience say? Who do they think they are playing for fools? The Israelis or the Palestinians? Most probably they are sure they played both sides for suckers, before taking a quick glimpse at their fat bank account.

I have much more respect for the genuine anti-Semitic and anti-Israelis that are fighting Israel, with no “buts, reservations, footnotes etc.” than these kind of artists that want to “have the cake and eat it too”

After all it is a matter of personal ethics and morality regardless of the amount of money.

School visits to the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki are not welcomed by all educators and parents


Source: Wikipedia

Via pri.org

[…] But the mayor [Boutaris] and his efforts have received pushback.

Among other initiatives, the mayor has been promoting public school visits to the existing Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki.

In 2014, about 700 students visited the museum annually; today that figure has soared to more than 7,000, according to museum director Erika Perahia Zemour, a development not welcomed by all educators and parents.

“We have teachers who have told us that they have problems with the parents of kids they bring to the museum,” Zemour said. “Yesterday, for example, I had a teacher from … an area of Thessaloniki that votes 15 percent Golden Dawn, and one of the parents told him ‘Why are you teaching the kids these things? The Holocaust doesn’t exist. It never happened.’”

The mayor credits much of that push-back to anti-Semitism. According to a 2014 survey by the Anti-Defamation League, Greece is the most anti-Semitic country in Europe.

But those within the Jewish community say the mayor’s efforts are making a difference.

“Certainly things have changed since the mayor changed. Minds have been opened and the mayor has done a lot of work so that people can realize the history of the city,” Zemour said. “Finally something is happening. We are making some progress.”