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LATEST NEWS

GIVE GREECE’S NEW LEADER A CHANCE
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the right-of-center Greek prime minister in office for four weeks after decisively winning a national election, deserves the opportunity to govern before being judged. Mr. Tsimitakis, a supporter of Mr. Mitsotakis’s political rival, former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, did not give him that opportunity. 

The Mitsotakis administration faces daunting challenges, including attracting foreign investment, reducing unemployment and grappling with difficult regional issues. These matters cannot be solved instantaneously. All have plagued previous governments.

Moreover, Mr. Tsimitakis levels a disingenuous charge of nepotism against Mr. Mitsotakis. His nephew Kostas Bakoyannis was elected mayor of Athens by the city’s residents a month before Mr. Mitsotakis’s electoral victory. Also, Mr. Tsimitakis refers to the Holocaust-denying past of Makis Voridis, the minister of agriculture, but doesn’t note that he apologized twice to the Jewish community and that a page has been turned.

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MAKIS VORIDIS VISITED THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF GREECE AND STRESSED THE PRIORITY OF FIGHTING ANTISEMITISM

Rural Development and Foods Minister Makis Voridis paid a visit to the Jewish Museum of Greece on Monday, where he was given a tour by the museum director Zanet Battinou. In statements afterward, he once again expressed his opposition to all forms of hate speech and said that the fight against the "noxious phenomenon of antisemitism" was a priority, while encouraging people to visit the museum, which he described as "excellent".

Voridis was the first minister in the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis to visit the museum, where he was greeted as a "friend of the Jewish people and the Jewish community in Greece" by the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) Viktor Eliezer.

The minister said his presence signaled the support of the Greek state in highlighting the history and long presence of the Greek Jews in the country since ancient times.

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AJC CONGRATULATES ARCHBISHOP ELPIDOPHOROS, NEW LEADER OF AMERICAN GREEK ORTHODOXY
 

AJC offers its warmest wishes to His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, who begins his tenure as leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the religious fountainhead of America’s Greek Orthodox faithful and the spiritual inspiration for Greek Americans. The Enthronement of Archbishop Elpidophoros was celebrated on Saturday at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York.

“AJC and the Jewish people join with the Hellenic-American community in celebrating this auspicious moment in the Archdiocese of America’s history,” AJC CEO David Harris said. “We look forward to working with Archbishop Elpidophoros to continue and build upon the decades-long special relationship that AJC and the Archdiocese have shared.”

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE STATEMENT OF MAKIS VORIDIS Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 12:02

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece takes into consideration and values the explanations given by Mr. Voridis, hoping that he will prove the honesty of his statement with concrete initiatives, following the example of other politicians who did not hesitate to express their regret for the views they embraced in the past.

We hope that Mr. Voridis will steadfastly and emphatically support the fight against intolerance, racism and antisemitism, which has anyway always constituted a key issue of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ policy.

Athens, July 16, 2019
Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
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RADIO INTERVIEW of VICTOR ELIEZER ON MAKIS VORIDIS’ NEONAZI POLITICAL PAST Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 09:56
In a radio interview (News 24/7, July 12, 2019) to journalist Seraphim Kotrotsos, the Secretary General of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece Victor Eliezer, with accuracy and clarity, presented the position and the feelings of the Greek Jewry towards Makis Voridis whose political past was linked to neo-nazi ideology.

AUDIO FILE of the interview (in Greek) HERE

The full transcript of the interview:

JOURNALIST S. KOTROTSOS: Therefore, I asked to speak with the Secretary General of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Mr Victor Eliezer, a man who of course knows very well both the affairs of Israel and those of Greece as well, because of his capacity as a journalist he can realize even better the way the Israeli  media react. Mr Eliezer, good evening, thank you for being with us.

V.ELIEZER:  Good evening Mr. Kotrotsos, good evening to your listeners.

S. KOTROTSOS: Firstly let’s mention the very good words of Netanyahu to Mitsotakis as a result of an excellent relation between Greece and Israel, that has been built over many years, which I think is not easy to crack.

V.ELIEZER:  Well, this is true, it is very accurate. Bilateral relations of all levels have been built over the last ten years. Also regarding cooperation for the exploitation of natural resources, as you know, with the participation of Cyprus. There are excellent bilateral relations in the field of cultural exchanges, and in the field of economy, with tourism being the prevailing factor.

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GREECE HONORS AJC CEO DAVID HARRIS Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 July 2019 13:35
American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO David Harris was honored today July 9, 2019 by Greece with one of the country’s most prestigious awards, the Order of the Phoenix.

“I award to you, with deep feelings of honor, the Commander of the Order of the Phoenix. As CEO of American Jewish Committee, and on the basis of the legacy of the Holocaust, you have defended human rights around the world and you have defended the dignity of humankind, so that we can all now say, effectively, never again,” said Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who presented the award to Harris in recognition of his long-term engagement with Greece on behalf of AJC. “The second reason for this award is the fact that you have made a critical contribution to strengthening relations among Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the U.S., which are now at their best, and, with your help, they will only continue to improve.” 

Harris has visited Greece dozens of times, beginning in the 1980s, meeting regularly with the country’s prime ministers and other top officials in Athens, as well as in New York and Washington, D.C., to advance Greece’s interactions with American Jews, Israel and the United States.

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MAKIS VORIDS’ STATEMENT REJECTING NEO-NAZISM AND ANTISEMITISM Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 09:33
"I have never been anti-Semitic," Rural Development and Foods Minister Makis Voridis said on Saturday July 13, 2019, though admitting that he had for many years been a member of nationalist political parties and organisations and had "coexisted politically with people that had such unacceptable ideas."

"To resolve any doubts, therefore, I denounce all action, omission or tolerance on my part to the act of a third party that might be interpreted as anti-Semitic or neo-nazi," he added.

Voridis was responding to the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Victor Eliezer, who he said had "called on me to publicly denounce by anti-Semitic past" in a radio interview.

"I also wish to notify Mr. Eliezer of the following, hoping to assuage the concerns he expressed:
1. As a member of the parliamentary assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in consultation with my colleagues in the Knesset, I have for three successive years proposed the rejection of the Palestinian Authority's request to become a member of the parliamentary assembly and unremittingly and systematically supported the condemnation of anti-Semitism. My Israeli colleagues know this.

2. I have spoken in parliament against the so-called antiracist law, recognising as its only positive point the penalisation of denial of the Holocaust.

3. I am the only Greek politician that has written articles in support of transferring the Greek Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

4. I am the only Greek politician that has supported the signing of a defence and not just a strategic alliance with Israel.

5. I am the only Greek politician that has adopted a position against Israel's condemnation for the incidents in Gaza.

In light of these, I hope that his concerns have been alleviated," Voridis said.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE INAUGURATION OF THE FIRST ISLAMIC MOSQUE IN ATHENS Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 June 2019 09:24

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece welcomes the establishment and the inauguration of the first Islamic mosque in Athens. The functioning of the mosque will give the opportunity to the Muslims to pray and exercise their religious duties.

The Church, the Synagogue and the Mosque symbolize the harmonious coexistence among people of different religions living in the same city. The freedom of religion and the respect of the sanctity of faith of the followers of all religions are fundamental pillars of the civilization of a society, and the Greek state demonstrated the high importance that attributes to these values.

Athens, June 11, 2019

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
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