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THE GREEK JEWRY HAILS THE 30 YEARS OF UPGRADED DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN GREECE AND ISRAEL - ALBUM PRESENTATION WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF THE GREEK F.M. AND THE ISRAELI AMBASSADOR

The Greek Jewry hailed the 30th anniversary of full diplomatic relations between Greece and Israel during a teleconference convened by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), on May 25, 2020. The meeting, which was attended by the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, the Israeli ambassador to Greece Yossi Amrani, KIS President David Saltiel and the Board of Directors, representatives of the Greek Jewish Communities, as well as KIS’s past Presidents Benjamin Albalas and Nissim Mais, included the presentation of the digital on-line album entitled “30 YEARS OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN GREECE AND ISRAEL, 1990 – 2020. A TIMELINE – The Milestones of a productive cooperation”, edited by KIS (May 2020).  

KIS President David Saltiel in his opening remarks pointed out the role of the Greek Jewry in the relations between the two countries, with special reference to relevant important ongoing projects, as the Holocaust Museum and the programme of cultural events for 2021, when Greece will celebrate the 200 years of its independence and will assume the chairmanship of the IHRA. “The Greek Jews feel as the bridge that unites the two philosophies that shaped our civilization: the Greek philosophy, that founded the principles of democracy and freedom and the Jewish philosophy, that founded the principles of monotheism, justice, solidarity and humanism”, stressed David Saltiel and continued: “Today Greece and Israel cooperate multifariously for the prosperity of their people, for the stability and peace in the sensitive region of the Eastern Mediterranean. Mr Minister and Mr Ambassador, KIS was, is and will remain a supporter of this cooperation boosting every effort that brings closer the people of the two countries”, Saltiel concluded.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE 30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOGNITION OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL BY GREECE
The 30th anniversary of the official recognition of the State of Israel by Greece mark the horizons of a dynamic and productive cooperation of the two countries aiming at the progress and the prosperity of the two peoples.

Political cooperation spearheaded by Konstantinos Mitsotakis in 1990, with his decision to recognize de jure the State of Israel, was fostered and developed by the governments of the two countries in the fields of economy, security, health and education, energy, culture and tourism.

Athens and Jerusalem, two capitals, two cities with a historic heritage that has defined the nature of humanism and democracy, have joined forces and keep making common efforts to safeguard stability and peaceful coexistence amongst all the people in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Greeks and Israelis professed solidarity on the field and proved the very meaning of solidarity by saving lives, by saving the natural resources of their countries. Greek and Israeli firefighters did it selflessly and with self-sacrifice during wildfires; Israeli rescuers did it during the catastrophic earthquake of Athens.

The Israelis sing Greek songs and listen Greek music, the Greeks welcome the Israeli tourists with the traditional Greek hospitality. This is the image of the two people forging their relations…

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece congratulates Greece and Israel for their strong will to further enhance their bonds of friendship and encourages every effort that brings closer the people of the two countries.

Athens, May 21st, 2020

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
GREEK AND ISRAELI PRESIDENTS ON 30th ANNIVERSARY OF FULL DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
The presidents of Greece and Israel celebrate the 30th anniversary of the start of full diplomatic relations on Thursday by confirming the continuity of friendship and business association of the two countries.

In a joint statement, Greece's Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Israel's Reuven Rivlin said they jointly celebrate "the past, present and future of our bilateral relations" and noted the particular sectors of collaboration between the two countries - economy, energy, tourism, defense, technology and culture, among others.

They also made particular mention of Greece and Israel's tripartite collaboration with the Cyprus Republic, and the more active participation of the United States, in promoting jointly regional security, stability and growth.

 
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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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

 
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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ESJF SURVEYS CONCLUDED IN GREECE Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 12:07
ESJF is proud to announce that field surveys have wrapped up in the first of the project countries under our 2019 mass survey project “Protecting the Jewish cemeteries of Europe: a full mapping process with research and monitoring and individual costed proposals for protection”, co-funded by the European Union. Our team travelled in Greece between 26 March and 14 April, mapping 48 sites altogether.

Greece has been a hugely different experience from the places ESJF has worked in before, both in terms of the specific challenges posed by its unique topography, and because of its mostly Sephardic burial tradition. The survey teams flew, took ferries and travelled via land to visit well-known sites such as Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes or Zakynthos, but also smaller places like Paramythia, Rethymnon and Preveza.

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