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LATEST NEWS

NEW VANDAL ATTACK AGAINST TOMB AT THE JEWISH CEMETERY OF IOANNINA

Antisemitism targets even the dead. For the second time in less than a month a tomb was found vandalized at the Jewish cemetery of Ioannina. The  vandals chose the period of the High Holidays of the Jewish faith for the manifestation of their antisemitic hatred with the hideous act of removing the tombstone of a grave. Shame!

The State as well as the local authorities need to take all necessary measures for the safety of the Jewish Community and its sacred sites all over Greece, and particularly in Ioannina, where the Jewish cemetery has been the target of hatred attacks repeatedly in the past. Let the dead rest in peace!

Athens, September 10, 2021

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
MINISTER OF HEALTH THANOS PLEVRIS: I APOLOGIZE TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE
The newly appointed Minister of Health Thanos Plevris, reacted swiftly to the announcement of KIS regarding his past references to Auschwitz, with a statement posted on his social media accounts (Sept. 1st, 2021). The statement reads: My respect towards the victims of the Holocaust of the Jews is absolute and I am contrary to any kind of antisemitism. I have demonstrated it through many public statements, in a manner beyond any doubt. The reservations of KIS about me -due to my statement while acting as defense lawyer of my father, whom I totally disagree with- are understandable.

I never wanted to insult the Jewish people and I apologize if I have done so. I am sure that through my work as Minister of Health I will lift all the reservations of all those who doubt my respect to the victims of the Holocaust of the Jews and they will realize that I have no antisemitic feelings”.

Relevant:
-Facebook & Twitter of Health Minister Thanos Plevris 

-The Greek Reporter, Sept. 1, 2021: Greek Minister Apologizes for Auschwitz Remark

 
KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE APPOINTMENT OF THANOS PLEVRIS AS MINISTER OF HEALTH
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses its concern for the appointment of Thanos Plevris as Minister of Health.

In 2009, Mr. Thanos Plevris stated the following, inter alia, before the Greek Court of Justice: «I will refer to issues that have puzzled you. You are concerned about the reference to Auschwitz. The one that says “to keep the camp of Auschwitz in good conditions”. I will examine the most extreme interpretation. That the defendant with this reference means: “Keep the camp of Auschwitz in good conditions because I want, at some point, the national socialist regime to come back, Hitler to come back, take the Jews and put them in Auschwitz”. What kind of instigation is this? What incitement is this? Is it that one is not allowed to believe and want to believe that “I want to exterminate someone”?».

We expect Mr. Thanos Plevris to apologize to the Jewish people for this reference and express his unequivocal condemnation of intolerance, antisemitism and Holocaust denialists, conforming with the declared positions of the Greek Prime Minister. We also hope that the new Minister will address all citizens equally, regardless of skin color, race or religion.

 Athens, September 1st, 2021

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

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EJC SLAMS POLISH PRESIDENT FOR RATIFYING ANTI-RESTITUTION BILL CALLING IT UNDEMOCRATIC, UNJUST AND IMMORAL Print E-mail
Friday, 20 August 2021 11:17
EJC, Saturday, August 14, 2021: European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor has slammed the ratification of a bill passed by the Polish Parliament which will make it far harder for Jews to claim restitution on properties appropriated and stolen during the Holocaust era.

“This law is undemocratic, unjust and immoral,” Dr. Kantor said. “This is not bringing order to chaos as President Duda claims, it is making legal what should be illegal and is merely legalising theft. The president had an opportunity to right the wrong created by the parliament, he could have shown moral clarity and leadership, but he chose not to.”

“Moreover, this law will also further highlight Poland’s unique position as the only country in the region which makes Holocaust restitution impossible and runs counter to its international commitments. It is outrageous that someone who survived the Holocaust, who will be in their later years, will still be deprived justice by this cruel, illegitimate and discriminatory law.”

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ISRAEL DISPATCHES FIREFIGHTERS TO BATTLE BLAZES IN GREECE Print E-mail
Monday, 09 August 2021 13:16

On August 6, 2021, Israel sent a team of 16 firefighters to Greece to assist in dealing with severe wildfires plaguing its neighbor across the Mediterranean Sea.

The firefighting team was formed following a request from the Greek government for assistance in dealing with fires currently raging on the island of Evia, the Peloponnese peninsula and Fokida in the central region north of Athens.

The mission was planned in coordination with the Israeli Embassy in Athens, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security, the National Fire and Rescue Authority and the National Security Council.

Their task is all the more difficult and dangerous because of Greece’s most intense heat wave in three decades. With temperatures soaring up to 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit), one volunteer firefighter died Friday and at least 20 people were treated in hospitals over the last week.

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MITSOTAKIS MEETS WITH AJC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HARRIS Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 July 2021 13:28

ATHENS -- Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met οn Tuesday morning with the Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), David Harris, at the Maximos Mansion.

According to government sources, they discussed developments in the wider region with a focus on the Eastern Mediterranean. There was particular emphasis on Greece's contribution to preserving regional stability and promoting growth through mutually beneficial alliances with countries in the region that share the same principles and beliefs.

The same sources noted that the close cooperation of the AJC with the Greek community in the USA was confirmed during the discussion with Harris, as well as the excellent level of bilateral relations between Greece and the USA, which are constantly developing and expanding.

The importance of the trilateral cooperation between Greece - Cyprus - Israel and the 3 + 1 scheme with the participation of the USA was also underlined, while ways to further strengthen the relevant actions were examined.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE VANDALISM OF THE IOANNINA JEWISH CEMETERY Print E-mail
Friday, 06 August 2021 12:46
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the outrage and the resentment of the Greek Jews over the desecration of a tomb in the Jewish Cemetery of Ioannina. The tomb was found vandalized on August 5, 2021, with its upper tombstone removed and marble fragments scattered around it.

We strongly condemn this shameful act  of sacrilege which indicates that the hatred of the perpetrators leads to villainous manifestations of violence and fanaticism.

The Jewish cemetery of Ioannina has become the target of antisemitic hatred and has been repeatedly vandalized in the past.

We call upon the competent authorities to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice. The Jewish cemetery of Ioannina is not only the resting place of the Jews of the city, it is a place of memory and cultural heritage for the city of Ioannina as a whole.

Athens, August 6, 2021

Central Board of Jewish Communities on Greece 

 
Shakespeare or Chekhov in the Middle East - Article by Victor Isaak Eliezer Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 June 2021 12:22
 Published in the Greek daily “TO VIMA” June 6, 2021

“If the Arabs put their weapons down, then there will be no war- if the Israelis put their weapons down, then there will be no Israel”. This saying is attributed to Golda Meir, Israel’s first female Prime Minister, when the Jewish state was surrounded by the Arab states that pursued its destruction, with a series of wars against it, since the first day of its independence, on May 14th 1948.

Unfortunately, the same phrase continues to be relevant in 2021. It could be seen as a communication ploy by the Israelis in order to gain the sympathy of the public. But let us see if this applies in the field of the long-running confrontation, which today focuses on the conflict between Israel and Hamas on its southern border and with Hezbollah and Syria in the north.

If Hamas was to abandon the attrition war against Israel, does anyone doubt that the blockade of the Gaza Strip would have been lifted the very next day? Israel does not have any territorial claims over this strip of land, on the contrary Israel pulled out in 2005, hoping that the Palestinian Authority would have been able to take control of the region and isolate the Islamic movements of Hamas and Jihad. The disarmament of Gaza would be a breath of fresh air for its afflicted population, a new page of growth and prosperity, a new road that would eventually lead to its union with the West Bank of the Jordan River, and in the establishment of a Palestinian state next to the State of Israel with secure borders. Free distribution and movement of people and goods, investments and improvement of the living standards, the end of the bloodshed – this is what the disarmament of Gaza would mean.

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