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.
- 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.”
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.
During a visit to the Idomeni border camp (Northern Greece), Greek Minister of the Interior Panagiotis Kouroumplis (Syriza) compared conditions at Idomeni to the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau blaming the EU of closing the borders.
Panagiotis Kouroumplis told reporters he “doesn’t hesitate to say” that the Idomeni camp is a modern version of the Dachau camp operated by the Nazis in Germany, ekathimerini.com reported.
He also blamed all other European countries indistinguishably of being reluctant “to assimilate one or one and a half million persecuted people.” (video in Greek)
Comparing European policies to Nazism is a common phenomenon in Greece: Back in June 2015, To Pontiki newspaper printed a cartoon implying that Greece is tantamount to a victim of the Holocaust.
Cartoonist Stathis Stavropoulos, who repeatedly compared Israel to Nazism, has been signed up by Panagiotis Lafazanis in the run to the snap election on September 20.
Panagiotis Lafazanis, former Energy Minister of Greece and Syriza’s co-founder, broke away from his party together with 24 other MPs to found the new anti-bailout and hard-left Popular Unity Party (Laiki Enotita). The recent opinion polls published in Greece suggest PU would capture only 2.5-4 per cent of the vote in the snap election on September 20.
Lafazanis has a deep admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and has worked hard to deepen the relations between Greece and Russia in the energy sector. He dismisses the Eurozone as a “dogmatic architecture” with no future that has been “constructed for the ‘lobby’ of the North” (quotes from its recent op-ed article translated by The Greek Analyst). In the same op-ed, Lafazanis insists on the necessity of Greece’s discharge “from the shackles of servitude and dependence, and the implementation of a new, genuine, independent, and multidimensional foreign and economic policy”. Lafazanis’ enemy is not only the “Germanized Europe”, but also the U.S. and Israel which are accused of controlling Greece. Lafazanis suggests that Greece can have potential without being “an American-Atlantic plot [of sea]” or a “satellite state of the American-Israeli Middle East axis”.
Popular Unity Party faces a life or death struggle against those “neocolonial foreign centers” too and calls on the end of the military cooperation between Greece and Israel, on the grounds that Israel “occupies foreign territories in the region”. Moreover, its leader has signed up cartoonist Stathis Stavropoulos who in the past depicted Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President George W. Bush dressed like Nazi officers with swastikas on their uniforms, both shooting pistols. He also repeatedly portrayed Israeli soldiers as Nazis.
According to the daily newspaper Ta Nea, another ally of Panagiotis Lafazanis in the run up to the snap election is the small Christian Democracy Party, which has been founded by Nikos Psaroudakis (1917-2006), one of the main publishers of the antisemitic hoax “The Protocols of Elders of Zion” in Greece.
The Greek government is committed to recognising Palestine, said Syriza MEP Sofia Sakorafa. EurActiv Greece reports.
In an interview with EurActiv Greece, the lawmaker [sic] said that 138 countries within the UN are in favour of the request to upgrade the Palestinian Authority to a state, and dozens of national parliaments have already done so.
“There is a fixed commitment of the Greek government to recognize Palestine as a state […] I estimate that very soon the Greek government will also raise the issue. Schematically-speaking, once it takes a breath from the suffocation,” Sakorafa underlined, referring to the tough negotiations between Athens and the so-called “Troika” on the future of the cash-strapped country.
Read the rest on euractiv.com
Read also: 1. ΑΠΟΚΛΕΙΣΤΙΚΟ: Πάγια δέσμευση της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης η αναγνώριση της Παλαιστίνης, ανοίγει «πολύ σύντομα» το θέμα (euractiv.gr, 03.04.2015), 2. Greek MEP Sofia Sakorafa believes that Israel imposes apartheid in Gaza (Video).
The following video presents the dialogue between SYRIZA (Greece) & GUE/NGL MEP Sofia Sakorafa and Gunnar Hökmark of the Moderate Party (Sweden), part of the European People’s Party, during the debate on the Recognition of Palestine statehood in the European Parliament. Sofia Sakorafa asked Gunnar Hökmark “since when occupation became a factor for peace in any region and since when the resistance to that occupation is called terrorism”. Gunnar Hökmark responded that a peaceful coexistence cannot be achieved when movements like Hamas and Hezbollah, which are not fighting for an independent and democratic state, are accepted. He added that those movements “are fighting for a society where people’s rights are humiliated” and pointed out that he wants a Palestinian state that fulfills its democratic obligations.
In a recent speech in the European Parliament, Sakorafa has suggested that “there’s an apartheid imposed” in Gaza and made a comparison between the crimes of the Nazis and “the atrocities of Israel”.