In 2018, the Racist Violence Recording Network recorded 10 anti-Semitic attacks in Greece

LOGO-FINAL_GRK-02-300x134Athens, 19.4.2019- The Racist Violence Recording Network (RVRN) presented yesterday their annual report, which analyses findings of racist violence and hate crime across Greece in 2018, recorded by the 46 organizations participating in the Network.

From January to December 2018, the RVRN documented, through interviews with victims, 117 incidents of racist violence, with more than 130 victims. In 74 incidents the victims were migrants or refugees on grounds of ethnic origin, religion, colour, associations of third country nationals, human rights defenders due to their connection with refugees and migrants, as well as a memorial to the victims of shipwrecks. In six (6) incidents, Greek citizens were targeted due to their colour, foreign or ethnic origin. In nine (9) incidents, the targets were Jewish sacred or symbolic places and the Jewish community and in one (1) incident the target was a Greek citizen due to educational activity against anti-Semitism or perceived religion. In 27 incidents the targets were LGBTQI+ persons, including five (5) refugees, asylum-seekers and EU citizens. In 59 incidents more than one victim was targeted, whereas in 63 incidents the assault was committed by a group of at least two people.

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Excerpt from the report (p. 19):

In 2018, the RVRN recorded 9 anti-Semitic attacks. In particular, there were 6 incidents of desecration of Holocaust memorials in Athens and Thessaloniki, 2 incidents of desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Nikaia and Trikala as well as 1 incident of vandalism of the synagogue in Volos. In these incidents the perpetrators drew Nazi symbols or words and slogans referring to the Holocaust, threatening the Jewish community as a whole. Additionally, there was an incident against a teacher, who is being harassed severely due to his educational activity against anti-Semitism. According to the Fundamental Rights Agency—FRA, the challenge regarding the rise of anti-Semitism worldwide, has the following paradox: According to the most recent Eurobarometer results, while anti-Semitic behaviour is so common that it is considered a normal situation, only 36% of those who answered believe that anti-Semitism has increased. In addition, only 4 out of 10 Europeans believe that children in schools learn enough about the Holocaust*. The RVRN is aware of the many faces of anti-Semitism in Greece, which, as in other countries, is not limited to desecrations and vandalisms by groups, but it also penetrates large parts of the population and is reflected in the everyday talks. For the above, the RVRN participated, with great interest, to a meeting held by the General Secretariat of Transparency and Human Rights.

* FRA, Experiences and perceptions of antisemitism – Second survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the EU (2018). See the relevant Eurobarometer survey:

The full report is available here.

Hate crimes in Greece in 2015 – the OSCE / ODIHR report

2015hcdata2 [via]

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.

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Find the full data for 2015 here.

Also relevant:

Anti-Semitism in 2013: Trends and Events

Anti-Semitism in 2013: Trends and Events Copyright: Ministry for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs

Anti-Semitism in 2013: Trends and Events
Copyright: Ministry for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs

11 Feb 2014

As indicated in a survey of the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) cited in the report, many Jews in Europe are being forced to change their way of life in fear of an anti-Semitic attack. The State of Israel cannot let itself be reconciled to this reality.

The Ministry for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs has published its annual report on the subject of Anti-Semitism in 2013: Trends and Events.

Summary of Report

The year 2013 was complex as far as anti-Semitism is concerned, especially in light of the mounting of troubling reports coming from all over the world, particularly Europe, of anti-Semitic incidents and expressions.

This accretion of reports has created a general feeling among Jews – individuals and communities – that the anti-Jewish climate in Europe is gradeually getting worse. One of the most prominent examples of this trend is in France. At a celebration marking 70 years since the founding of the CRIF, the central council of French Jews, Roger Cukierman, the council president, said that the Jews of France live in a bad climate, and that what is happening in their country is insulting and hurtful to them.

At the center of the following report on trends and incidents will be the conclusion that the trend, as felt by the Jews, of rising and worsening anti-Semitism, stems mainly from the severity of the verbal and graphic expressions, the insults, the harassment, and the threats encountered by Jews in their everyday lives, which create a gradually more oppressive atmosphere, and not necessarily from a rise in the number of violent events.

This conclusion gains credence in light of a survey conducted by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA).

Download full report

Source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Η ισλαμοφοβία και ο αντισημιτισμός βρίσκουν πρόσφορο έδαφος στην ελληνική κοινωνία / 2010 Report on International Religious Freedom (the case of Greece)

Εκθεση Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ για θρησκευτικές ελευθερίες

Αθ. Ελλις, εφ. Η Καθημερινή, 19-11-2010

Επεισόδια κατά μουσουλμάνων, όπως η εμπρηστική επίθεση κατά του τεμένους στους Τοξότες Ξάνθης, βανδαλισμοί σε άλλο τζαμί και κοιμητήριο στη Θράκη, και η τεταμένη ατμόσφαιρα κατά τη διαμαρτυρία χιλίων περίπου μουσουλμάνων μεταναστών στην Αθήνα, τον Μάιο του 2009, λόγω της βεβήλωσης αντιτύπου του Κορανίου από αστυνομικό, καταγράφονται στην ετήσια έκθεση του Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ για τις θρησκευτικές ελευθερίες ανά τον κόσμο, η οποία υποβάλλεται κάθε χρόνο στο Κογκρέσο βάσει σχετικού αμερικανικού νόμου. Στην έκθεση σημειώνεται και η συνέχιση εκφάνσεων αντισημιτισμού στον ελληνικό Τύπο και στην κοινωνία, περιστατικά βανδαλισμών εβραϊκών μνημείων και περιουσιών, και οι δύο εμπρηστικές επιθέσεις κατά της Συναγωγής Χανίων, ενώ επισημαίνεται ως θετική εξέλιξη ο εγκαινιασμός του Μνημείου Ολοκαυτώματος στην Αθήνα από τον υπουργό Επικρατείας τον περασμένο Μάιο.

Στο κεφάλαιο για την Ελλάδα επισημαίνεται και φέτος ότι η ελληνική κυβέρνηση σέβεται εν γένει στην πράξη τα ζητήματα θρησκευτικών ελευθεριών, αλλά γίνεται λόγος για γραφειοκρατικά κυρίως προβλήματα που αντιμετωπίζουν οι θρησκευτικές μειονότητες, όπως για τις αδειοδοτήσεις για την κατασκευή ή λειτουργία χώρων λατρείας, και για συνέχιση φαινόμενων θρησκευτικών διακρίσεων και εκδηλώσεων αντισημιτισμού. Επισημαίνονται τα θετικά βήματα του Αρχιεπισκόπου της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος για την πρόοδο του διαθρησκειακού διαλόγου με την Αγγλικανική Εκκλησία και άλλα θρησκευτικά δόγματα. Η έκθεση καλύπτει την περίοδο από τον Ιούλιο του 2009 έως τον αντίστοιχο μήνα του 2010 και, έτσι, δεν αναφέρεται στα πρόσφατα περιστατικά έντασης με τη μαζική προσευχή μουσουλμάνων μεταναστών στα Προπύλαια και της αντιπαράθεσης στην περιοχή του Αγ. Παντελεήμονα.

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

International Religious Freedom Report 2010

November 17, 2010

[…] Vandalism of Jewish monuments and properties continued to occur. In June 2010, days after the Israeli interception of the Gaza flotilla, a student was arrested in the act of spraying anti-Semitic graffiti on a Jewish tombstone in Komotini. The student claimed that his action was in solidarity with the flotilla and Palestinians. The Jewish cemetery in Thessaloniki was vandalized in May 2010; three suspects were arrested several hours after the incident. The Jewish cemetery of Ioannina was vandalized three times in 2009.

In January 2010 the Etz-Hayyim synagogue of Chania, Crete, suffered two arson attacks. A total of 1,800 books and religious items, and the synagogue’s roof, were destroyed. The ministers of education and justice condemned the attacks, and in a positive development, local media commentators unanimously condemned the attacks and anti-Semitism in general. The police initially arrested four suspects, subsequently releasing three. The investigation was ongoing during the reporting period and a trial date had not been set. The government provided funds to the Jewish community for reconstruction of the synagogue.

Expressions of anti-Semitism continued to occur, particularly in the extremist press. The mainstream press and public sometimes mixed negative comments about Jews with criticism of the Israeli government, especially in the aftermath of the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, in which dozens of the country’s citizens were temporarily detained by the Israeli Defense Forces.

In April 2010 the Jewish community, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the country’s Helsinki Monitor protested that a cartoon in newspaper Ta Nea did not respect the memory of the Holocaust. The cartoon’s author apologized to the Jewish community.
In 2007 the Helsinki Monitor and the Central Board of Jewish Communities brought charges against newspaper Eleftheros Kosmos and former Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) political party candidate Kostas Plevris for racism and anti-Semitism. In 2007 Plevris was convicted of inciting hatred and racial violence with his book The Jew – The Whole Truth. He was acquitted by an appeals court in March 2009. A public prosecutor subsequently filed a “cassation in favor of the law” with the Supreme Court against the decision, seeking to ensure it would not be used as a precedent in the future. The Supreme Court rejected the cassation in April 2010.

In January 2010 a court in Athens convicted Ioannis Charalambopoulos, editor of magazine Apollonio Fos, to seven months in prison, suspended for three years, for distributing anti-Semitic leaflets during the Plevris trial in 2007.

The Jewish community reported that few of the publicly owned Jewish cemeteries in the country were properly maintained, stating that grass was not cut, fences were not repaired, and plants were not watered. Members of the Muslim minority also reported that some of their cemeteries were not maintained. Maintenance is required by law.

The Jewish community continued to protest anti-Semitic passages in the Greek Orthodox Church’s Holy Week liturgy. The Jewish community reported that it continued to discuss with the church removal of the passages.

During the reporting period, the Jewish community of Thessaloniki and the government continued discussions on compensation for the community’s cemetery, expropriated after its destruction during the Holocaust. Aristotle University, a public institution, was built on top of the expropriated cemetery soon after World War II. In July 2009 a Ministry of Finance experts’ committee, which included a member of the Jewish community, proposed a compensation solution. Official approval for the compensation plan remained pending at the Ministry of Finance.

International Jewish NGOs expressed concern that subway construction in the vicinity of the Thessaloniki Jewish cemetery could disturb human remains. The government continued dialogue with the Thessaloniki Jewish community to address these concerns. […]

Read the report here.