We publish below photos of the recent desecration of the Trikala Jewish Cemetery, courtesy of Antiratsistiki Enimerosi. Jewish graves and memorials are a recurring target of vandals in Greece. Although the numbers of Greeks of Jewish religion is, according to the Greek Census, very low (5000, i.e. 0.05% of the Greek population) the incidents of antisemitic rhetoric and the recorded attacks against Jewish monuments or synagogues are disproportionately high, recent studies found.
With a flower in hand, citizens of Thessaloniki gathered in the afternoon of July 4, 2018, in front of the Holocaust Memorial at Liberty Square to protest recent vandalisms of the monument.
Photo courtesy of Τρύφων Καλαμίτσης (Thessaloniki, July 4, 2018)
The Holocaust Monument in Thessaloniki was defaced with red paint in the night of Wednesday June 27, 2018. According to authorities and press reports, perpetrators may have been participants in a rally held earlier that day outside the Macedonia-Thrace Ministry to protest the name deal signed between Athens and Skopje. (via kis.gr)
At the beginning of the year, the Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki was desecrated with “Free Palestine” graffiti. Only days after this desecration, the memorial was again vandalized, this time by Greek nazis with “Golden Dawn” graffiti.
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.
Demonstrators protesting “the imperialist attack on Syria” in Athens. Screenshot via inter.kke.gr
The Greek Communist Party (KKE) organized a rally in central Athens to protest the US-led airstrikes against Syria on Saturday. The protesters chanted anti-U.S., anti-Nato and anti-EU slogans and even set an American flag on fire right in front of the American Embassy.
The Greek Communist Party issued a statement in which it blasted the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government for “implicating” Greece “deeper in this massacre, on the account of the Greek capital, that is claiming its participation in the distribution of the loot and of the market shares.” It also accused the Greek government of cooperating militarily “with states-killers such as Israel.”
Communist Party chief Dimitris Koutsoumbas has accused Israel of engaging in “genocide” against Palestinians.
“Despite the problems facing our people, we must not underestimate the fact that a genocide is taking place in our neighborhood. Innocent children, women, families are being killed,” Koutsoumbas said during a meeting with former Greek President Karolos Papoulias in Athens four years ago.
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
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”.
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.
More information about Nissim Levis (in Greek)
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:
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.