Antisemitism in Greece today – Executive Summary

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung has published an executive summary of the antisemitism report authored by Giorgos Antoniou, Spyros Kosmidis, Elias Dinas and Leon Saltiel.

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Creator: Christopher Adam

Antisemitism in Greece today: Aspects, causes and tackling the phenomenon

Anti-Semitism is one of the most common manifestations of social prejudice in Europe and elsewhere. Greece is not an exception to this rule; in fact, Greece, according to the 2015/2017 Anti-Defamation League Global Survey has the highest proportion of people who harbour anti-Semitic sentiments in Europe. The study at hand was commissioned by Heinrich Boell Stiftung Greece to report the main findings of an original analysis of Greek public opinion that aimed to delve deeper into the causes of the phenomenon. The report was divided into three themes; 1) discussing the socio-political framework of anti-Semitism in modern Greece, 2) the full presentation of the empirical work conducted using public opinion surveys and 3) a set of policy recommendations to tackle the phenomenon. The executive summary at hand will briefly present the main aspects of each of the three themes.

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 anti-Semitic rhetoric and the recorded attacks against Jewish monuments or synagogues are disproportionately high. The report embarks on a thorough analysis of the role that political actors, the Greek Church and the mass media play in perpetuating anti-Semitic prejudice and behaviour. Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party with parliamentary representation, is the most important advocate of anti-Semitic views in contemporary Greece, but there are some disconcerting incidents that vary across all levels of government and across different ideological persuasions. One of the key concerns regarding the relationship between politics and anti-Semitism is that there are many incidents of anti-Jewish rhetoric, and those incidents have the ideological left and right as the perpetrators. In many of those incidents, the role of the Greek Church is pivotal. Stemming from Christian anti-Judaism, it often takes other forms such as anti-Zionism or Jewish Conspiracies. In the report, we lay out some of key examples showing how one of the most respected institutions in Greece is not keen to stop anti-Semitism.

The mass media play a big role as well. The way anti-Semitism is reported or, more often, not reported helps the phenomenon to expand and become an everyday theme that should not carry any consequences for the politician or any other figure harbouring similar views in public. In fairness, this was less of an issue when Golden Dawn started gaining influence in the Greek public sphere. On occasions when Golden Dawn denied the Holocaust, the mass media where keen to attack the party and consider “Holocaust conspiracy” allegations as absurd. As expected, newspapers of extreme-right persuasion were keen to recycle similar conspiracies and embellish them with narratives of “Jewish world domination” and “Jewish economic interests in Greece“. Sadly, some mainstream newspapers also put forward subtle and not so subtle opinions against the Jews (especially when the Arab-Israeli conflict is on the agenda).

Read more on gr.boell.org

See the full report here (in Greek), as well as a panel discussion on the results of the report:

Moderation: Sofia Christoforidou

Speakers: Katharina von Schnurbein, Spyros Kosmidis, Giorgos Antoniou, Viktor Isaac Eliezer, Maria Yannakaki, Grigorios Stamkopoulos, Eleni Hontolidou, Andreas Takis

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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!

Read more

Relevant:

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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).

Report: Anti-Semitism in Greece today

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Via Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Greece

Abstract

The report presents the results of two opinion surveys conducted in Greece, in June 2014 and January 2015, on the issue of antisemitism in the country. After a brief discussion on the meaning and origins of the phenomenon of antisemitism, the study presents an overview of its manifestations in the Greek society, in particular politics, the Church and the media. A detailed presentation of the findings of the two surveys follows, which measure antisemitic attitudes in the Greek society and correlate them with factors such as gender, age, political opinion, education, church affiliation but also trust, cosmopolitanism, belief in conspiracy theories and victimhood. The results confirm previous studies and assumptions that antisemitism in Greece is very high (around 70%), the highest percentage in Europe. The report ends with recommendations on how the government and the Greek society as a whole should act systematically against this scourge.

Authors: Giorgos Antoniou, Spyros Kosmidis, Elias Dinas and Leon Saltiel

The report is available only in Greek here.

Minos Moissis | A survey by Pew Research Centre: Food for thought and action

By Minos Moissis,

President of the Jewish Community of Athens

July 2016, source: athjcom.gr

Pew Research Centre, a credible American research institute specializing in social research, released recently the results of its survey in some European countries. The research aims to explore the views of European citizens on minorities, diversity and national identity.

Main conclusion is that the refugee crisis of recent years has significantly affected perceptions in Europe concerning the integration of immigrants, has created a climate of fear, has intensified prejudices on the relationship between terrorism and immigrants and appears to have enhanced the trends to liaise national identity to criteria such as language, traditions and religion.

There are of course major differences from country to country recorded in the survey, including differences among age groups, education levels and political affiliation in the range left – right. It is really revealing to read the whole survey.

Conclusions regarding Greece are very sad. In almost all relevant questions related to the negative perceptions and opinions of the Greeks against the “diverse”, Greece scores either at the top of the list or too high, usually competing Hungary. Usually, Italy and Poland follow relatively close, whereas much lower score countries of Western Europe and Scandinavia. Indeed, in a combined indicator for “non-integration” of minorities used by the researchers, Greece unfortunately, scores highest at 13.72 near the absolute negative score of 16.

Therefore it is not surprising, that when it comes to inter-connection between national identity and Christian religion, more than one in two Greeks deem very important for one to be Christian in order to be a “true Greek”, while the relevant index for all other Countries is far behind.

The survey also reflects that the refugee crisis has increased the prejudices towards minorities in general, mainly of course towards Muslims. In many countries negative views for Muslims and Roma are dominant. For Jews, the survey found significantly lower rates of negative opinions with a median of 16% across all countries. Greece takes the lead here too with a percentage at 55% of negative opinions on Jews.

[..]

Click here to read the full article in Athens Jewish Community

Also relevant:

  1. Richard WIKE, Bruce STOKES, Katie SIMMONS: Europeans Fear Wave of Refugees Will Mean More Terrorism, Fewer Jobs (July 11, 2016)
  2. Lea SPEYER: Study: Among Europeans, Greeks Have Most Negative Attitude Towards Jews (July 13, 2016)
  3. Γιάννης ΚΑΡΑΜΑΓΚΑΛΗΣ: Αριθμοί: Οι Απόψεις Των Ευρωπαίων Για Τους Πρόσφυγες (Ιούλιος 2016)

 

Victimhood culture spawns Greek anti-Semitism, study finds

By Harry van Versendaal

A large number of Greeks have limited awareness of the Holocaust or even hold anti-Semitic views, according to a new survey which traces the roots of attitudes to a strong sense of victimization among the public.

The same study found that prejudice or hatred against the Jews cuts across the country’s left-right political spectrum, which is similarly attributed to the fact that victimhood, the idea that Greeks have suffered without full responsibility for their misfortune, is a universal trait of the country’s political culture.

Read the rest on ekathimerini.com

  • “The survey was funded by the British, Canadian and Romanian Embassies in Athens and focuses on the Holocaust, its memory and the reactions it generates among the Greek public opinion. The study was carried out in January 2015 and was administered by the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki; it comes as a continuation of a previous survey carried out in 2014. The two surveys concluded that ‘anti-Semitic attitudes and negative perceptions of the Holocaust are worryingly high among Greek public opinion’.” [via gov.uk]
  • “Among the report’s most shocking findings was that almost half of all recipients agreed with the statement: “The Jews treat Palestinians in the same way they were treated by the Germans in WWII,” a result that one of report’s authors Dr Giorgos Antoniou, describes as “devastating”. Over 90% of the Greeks questioned believed that Jewish people hold too much power in international business and media.” [Felicity Capon: Greeks Have ‘Devastating’ Lack of Awareness About the Holocaust, Study Finds. Newsweek.com, 3/20/15]