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

Via kis.gr

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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”.

Greek teacher told the class that Israelis are Nazis

Via The New Antisemite

mynetThe Israeli Ynet news site recently published an interview with Leon David who made Aliyah from Greece to Israel and is now serving in the IDF. Asked whether he experienced antisemitism in Greece he answers: “Of course. Many times I had to clean up neo-Nazi graffiti and deal with racist abuse.”

But the most memorable incident was when a teacher, who did not know he was Jewish, told the class that what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is just like what Hitler did to the Jews. He later approached the teacher and she apologized, but the incident encouraged him to come to Israel.

Anti-Israel banner at Democritus University

Members of Left Anti-capitalist Group (Aristeri Antikapitalistiki Syspirosi) have displayed at the entrance of the Law Faculty at Democritus University (Thrace, Northern Greece) a banner which suggests that Israel is commiting genocide against Palestinians, grassrootreuter blog has reported. It reads: “Not another Holocaust. Solidarity to the Palestinians.”

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Photo credit: MotionTeam / Vassilis Ververidis, undated

The photo featuring the antisemitic banner has been published in the leftwing daily newspaper Efimerida ton Syntakton to illustrate an article about a discrimination issue at Democritus University.

Far-right Golden Dawn MP calls Israel ‘eternal enemy’ of Greeks

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Golden Dawn MP Christos Pappas wearing a nazi fez (tn: actually this “fez” was part of the uniform of the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar) and a T-Shirt calling for “Uprising For An Independant Palestine.” Via I Can’t Relax In Greece & Abravanel, the Blog

 

Via The Times of Israel

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.

Read more

  • 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.”

Activist helping refugees blamed to be a spy working to destabilize Europe

Peklaris working in the Kibbutz Yotvata

Achilles Peklaris working in the Kibbutz Yotvata (Israel, June 2013). Photo by Maayan Ben-Yosef. Source: exodus2013.blogspot.com

Via Get The Trolls Out!

Greek pro-Nazi Hellenic National Socialist Found blog has reposted an article from the popular news website Zougla.gr claiming that Achilles M. Peklaris, a well-known activist supporting and helping refugees in Greece, is an agent trained by Mossad, the Israeli secret services, to destabilize Europe by encouraging the arrival of refugees. Zougla.gr has meanwhile removed the article.

An antisemitic statement from the article:

Achilles M. Peklaris is “coordinating”, even to the farthest end of Greece, the “mobilization” of “Islamists” whom right-wing idiots treat as “red rags” ignoring the “matador” who is behind them and on whose arm there is the “passport” of Mossad!

Read more.

Vice-President of the EU Parliament and Syriza MEP meets with Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled

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Papadimoulis with Khaled on February 10, 2016 (Photo via http://syriza.eu/images/PAPADHMOULIS/PapadimoulisHaled.jpg). Khaled poses in scarf with the PFLP logo: Inside a red circle, a black arrow points from a white semi-circle to a map of Israel and the territories. Below the arrow, on the right side, is a green dot. The arrow symbolizes the return of Palestinian refugees. Red symbolizes the group’s Marxist-Leninist heritage. Description via http://archive.adl.org/terrorism/symbols/popular_front_pa1.html

Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled met with Dimitris Papadimoulis, Syriza MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament, in its headquarters in Brussels on February 10, 2016. Leila Khaled was accompanied by a PFLP delegation. Syriza, a left-wing party that despite its past support for the Palestinians has sought to strengthen ties with the Jewish state, has called Khaled in a statement issued after the meeting an “activist with a historical role in the Palestinian Resistance.”

Khaled is member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist and nationalist organization founded in 1967. PFLP is considered as a terrorist organization by the Council of the European Union, since its members have carried out numerous hijackings, assassinations, bombings and paramilitary operations against civilian and military targets in Israel. Khaled herself has been involved twice in airline hijackings and is an active supporter of the BDS movement.

One can therefore raise the question over the legitimacy of the visit of the PFLP delegation at the EU Parliament. How can it be that the delegation of a terror group obtained the right to enter the EU Parliament and meet with its Vice-President? Does Syriza seek to compensate the ongoing cooperation between Greece and Israel with an implicit tolerance of Palestinian radicalism?

After her visit to the EU Parliament in February, Leila Khaled has launched a tour of Germany, Sweden and Austria, meeting with Palestinian communities and supporters of the Palestinian cause. In Wuppertal, Germany, she spoke in a Greek restaurant together with a speaker who has justified terror attacks against Jews in Israel. During an event in Vienna, Austria, she accused Israel of being responsible for “a Holocaust” against the Palestinians and justified the ongoing knife attacks on Israeli citizens.

Wenn Rupert Neudeck unwidersprochen gegen Israel hetzen darf

Von Dimitri Kravvaris

Der Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger berichtete in seiner gedruckten Ausgabe vom 18. März 2016 ausführlich von einer Zeitungspatenaktion an 171 Schulen in Köln und der Region. Im Rahmen dieser Aktion lobte Bürgermeisterin Henriette Reker die gedruckte Zeitung ausdrücklich: Reker zufolge sei man durch diese Form angeregt, Informationen zu vertiefen.

Es wird jedoch oft übersehen, dass einseitige Berichte, Propaganda und gefährliche Hetze auch in einer gedruckten Zeitung ihren Platz finden können. Ein Beispiel dafür ist ausgerechnet das Interview, das der Aktivist Rupert Neudeck dem Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger in der bereits erwähnten Ausgabe vom 18. März (Seite 6) gab. Dass Rupert Neudeck 2014 Aussagen Dietrich Bonhoeffers instrumentalisierte, um die Palästinenser als die neuen Juden zu präsentieren, und bereits 2005 Gaza mit dem Warschauer-Ghetto verglich, sind anscheinend für den Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger Spitzfindigkeiten, die man gar nicht erwähnen oder kritisch hinterfragen müsste.

Der Ausgangspunkt im besagten Interview ist Neudecks „furchtbares Erlebnis“ im Nahen Osten. Nicht gemeint sind damit die täglichen Messer-Attacken gegen israelische Zivilisten, Wachleute, Soldaten und Polizisten; die Gewalt gegen israelische Juden ist für Neudeck anscheinend unwichtig. Es geht ihm vielmehr darum, das Verhalten jüdischer Siedler in Hebron anzuprangern, die „Unrat und Müll auf [die] Straße schmeißen“ und das Leben der Palästinenser erschweren würden. Der Ton des Gesprächs ist somit vom Anfang an gegeben: Die israelische Siedlungspolitik sei der Hauptgrund dafür, dass die Palästinenser unwürdig leben würden. Sie seien sonst für nichts schuldig bzw. verantwortlich; Neudeck behauptet sogar, es gäbe bei ihnen eine „innere Bewegung“, die die Linderung ihres Leidens „forcieren“ könnte, wenn der Druck der Amerikaner und der Europäer ohne Folgen bliebe. Der Journalist greift nicht ein: Meint Neudeck etwa die Aktivitäten der Hamas, die Messer-Attacken oder eine friedliche Bewegung, die wir hier in Europa noch nicht wahrgenommen haben?

Die schlimmste Behauptung kommt bei der dritten Frage („Und was ist mit den Regierungen der Israelis und Palästinenser?“): Unwidersprochen wagt Neudeck, die Regierung in Ramallah mit „der Quisling-Regierung in Norwegen in der Nazi-Zeit“ zu vergleichen, „die von den Nazis eingesetzt wurde“. Neudeck fügt hinzu: „Eine Regierung, die gemeinsame Sache mit dem Besatzer macht. Die Palästinenser leben zwar gut in der Autonomie-Behörde, aber es gibt den Geruch der Kollaboration“. Neudeck verwendet hierbei Vokabeln des II. Weltkriegs („Kollaboration“, „Besatzer“, „Quisling-Regierung“) und unterstellt damit nicht nur, dass die Palästinenser keinerlei freie Entscheidungen auf einer politischen Ebene treffen könnten, sondern dass die Israelis die Nazis von heute seien.

Somit wird im Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger ein Schwarz-Weiß-Bild des Nahhost-Konflikts vermengt mit Geschichtsrelativierung vermittelt. Nazi-Vergleiche sind in diesem Kontext jedoch inakzeptabel. Der Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger leistet mit diesem Interview gerade nicht das, was er behauptet, nämlich seine (jungen) Leser*innen zur kritischen Reflexion anzuregen.

Ta Nea headline on terror attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank highlights fate of perpetrators

[h/t Ioannis Ikonomou]
Top centrist daily Ta Nea published yesterday a report on recent terror attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank with the following headline: “Five Palestinians killed by Israeli fire, two of them were minors”.
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The reader finds out however in the article that all five Palestinians were assailants using automatic weapons, knives and probably an M-16 assault rifle. Ta Nea report relies exclusively and uncritically on a recent Reuters report.
Terror attacks against Israeli citizens receive little if any attention in the Greek medias.

A letter to the editor concerning the incident in the Aegean flight A3 928 to Tel Aviv

Against Antisemitism – Ενάντια στον αντισημιτισμό republishes a letter to the editor of Zoe Dorit Eliou, passenger of the Aegean flight A3 928 from Athens to Tel Aviv, in which she criticizes the coverage of the incident involving Israeli passengers in Huffingtonpost.gr. Zoe Dorit Eliou refutes the accusations of racism as follows:

Boeing_737-33A,_Aegean_Airlines_AN0387722Dear Editor,

the article you wrote about the 1/4/15 incident on the Aegean flight from Athens-Tel Aviv was completely distorted and one sided as I was on the plane and this not what I saw or experienced.

Indeed, there was tension and anxiety that began already in the waiting hall, before embarkation. The reason for that had to do with the behavior of one of the men (I did not see the other one) which was very provocative and frightening. He looked at us with a chilling hostility and cold smile that was ominous. He wore a military type shirt, waited to embark last and seemed ready for a disturbance.

The passengers sat down, and some people very quitely and discretely approached the crew which refused to address the situation. As a result, some people wanted to get off the plane as it was ready to leave. There was a commotion but no screaming or fighting. Most everybody sat down or was just raised in their seats to observe what was going on. There was a language barrier as many of the Israelis did not speak English and the crew was not particularly reassuring but rather derogatory in Greek (I speak Greek, English and Hebrew fluently). The 2 passengers were taken off and there was a cursory security check on the overhead items.

Later the security agent told me that there was a canine examination of the luggage before boarding but he did not communicate that in English to the passengers. In fact, he gave me permission to say so in Hebrew. Finally the security agent was screaming at the Israelis that if they did not like it they could get off and buy a ticket elsewhere. He was rather rude. The security did not explain that the 2 passengers were further investigated and they were ok and blamed the Israelis that they, the Israelis, were the only reason they were taken off.

I regret to say that your article is divisive, and reflects poor and one sided journalism which further polarizes the situation between the two traumatized nations. You clearly had an agenda, since the article did not speak to any of the passengers, except the crew and amnesty international.

Profiling is indeed an awful way to relate to one another as human beings and yet as humans under stress we resort to very primal judgments. The context is always important before we judge a reaction, and the overreaction of the passengers was not without a context. There were many other passengers on the flight that looked “arab” on the plane but they were not hostile or provocative. I hope you can amend your article to include a more balanced and whole story, rather than a presentation of an agenda.

Sincerely, Dr. Eliou

Source: huffingtonpost.gr (5/1/2016)

Dr. Eliou sent to us the following additional remark:

Please note that no one knew the nationality of the 2 passengers ahead of time. Also, Aegean offered them to leave the flight, pay for their hotel and fly them the next day. They were not forcibly removed from the flight. I thought that if everything checked out they should have continued the flight and whoever objected could have left themselves. I think Aegean made a mistake by removing them and offering them an alternative accommodation and flight, and then blaming it on the Israeli passengers, almost like a set up. In addition, passengers tried to communicate with them to break the ice but they refused to speak. I felt the article had an agenda. I think it was unfortunate but could have been easily resolved with some communication between the passengers so that everyone cold relax.

Greek vocalists cancel their performance with Idan Raichel after BDS pressure

Raichel_Kotsiras_TsaligopoulouYannis Kotsiras and Eleni Tsaligopoulou, amongst Greece’s most popular singers, were to join on stage the famous Israeli musician Idan Raichel on November 4th in the Gazarte venue, in central Athens. “A celebration of the Mediterranean soul” was one of a series of cultural events scheduled to take place in order to mark the 25th anniversary since the start of Greece’s and Israel’s diplomatic relations.

Only a few hours before their appearance, the two Greek vocalists announced on their official Facebook pages [Kotsiras] [Tsaligopoulou], that they won’t participate in the scheduled concert in Gazarte. They didn’t specify the reason of this cancellation. Idan Raichel nevertheless performed alone.

What happened? Two days before the concert, the small far-left Trotskyist group “Internationalist Movement Against The War” (Greek: “Antipolemiki Diethnistiki Kinisi”, abbreviated ADK) called upon both Greek artists not to perform with someone who “supports the Israeli torturers”. Furthermore, ADK suggested that the state of Israel aims to use cultural events in order to promote a positive image of the country, while it “persecutes” the Palestinians and the Israeli workers.

Other posts on the same blog refer to “Nazi-Zionists”.

The ADK call has been reposted by the pro-BDS website info-war.gr. The owner of info-war.gr is Greek journalist and filmmaker Aris Chatzistefanou, a participant of the “Gaza Flotilla” who has accused former PM George Papandreou of “slavish submission” towards Israel. Among the coalition organizations participating in the “Gaza Flotilla” was radical Islamic organization IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi, IHH, “humanitarian relief fund”).

Many fans of Yannis Kotsiras and Eleni Tsaligopoulou reacted enthusiastically on Facebook to their messages of cancellation. Others strongly protested their decision accusing especially Y. Kotsiras of hypocrisy (he has already performed in Israel).

  • Idan Raichel’s opinion regarding torture (NB: “Captain George” is IDF interrogator Doron Zahavi):