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Thursday, 17 July 2014 11:09
The Middle East is on fire. Over 1.000 rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip targeting Israeli civilians in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv, in the port of Ashdod, and in Haifa in northern Israel. Six million Israelis live under the threat of the rockets launched by Hamas, which has a long history of terrorist attacks against civilians and the destruction of Israel as its main declared goal.
The fact that the Israelis do not mourn thousands  of victims from this ruthless attack is to be accredited to the protection measures undertaken form Israel for the security of its population and specifically to the use of the “Iron Dome” anti-missile system, as well as to the timely warning of its citizens to rush into shelters.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, representing all the Jewish Communities in our country, expresses its solidarity towards the citizens and the State of Israel that once more are forced to defend the obvious right to their existence in safety.

Unlike Israel, Hamas -which for many years does not hesitate to send the children of Palestine into suicide attacks, to kidnap and murder Israeli children- most inhumanly, uses today the Palestinian citizens of the Gaza Strip as a human shield to protect the launchers of rockets against Israel. Thus, apartment buildings, homes for the elders, schools, even kindergartners, have been turned into facilities for manufacturing of rockets and launching devices.
Unfortunately, at times, during the Israeli operations against such targets, apart from the culpable, innocent Palestinians are killed –men, women and children- victims of Hamas’ criminal policy sacrificing Palestinian people in order to turn public opinion against Israel.

The Greek Jewry expresses its grief over the loss of life of every innocent person, either Israeli or Palestinian.

The current situation in the Middle East did not just suddenly happen. If somebody wants to speak about it, he has to be fully informed of the chain of preceding facts and avoid fragmentary judgment and unjust condemnation of one side only because it has found the way to protect its citizens from the threat they face. The bloodshed -which over the years has caused thousands of victims on both sides- needs to come to a definite end so that both people share the right to a peaceful co-existence, and live as neighbors, each in its own state.

The solution of the two independent states, the Jewish State of Israel and the Arab Palestinian State, is the only feasible and permanent solution.

Since 1947, when the UN decided to establish two states, history course has proven that the Arabs bear responsibility for the non-implementation of the decision, as far as it concerns the Arab State, because they denied the establishment of the State of Israel and they tried from the first moment to destroy Israel with repeated wars against it.   
The Jewish people struggled for the establishment of the State of Israel in a region where its roots are undeniable and for which paid an extremely heavy toll during the Holocaust.
In 1967, Israel intercepted the attack of the Egyptian Army and occupied the Sinai dessert and the Gaza Strip, which until then were under the rule of Egypt.  In 1978, Israel signed a peace agreement with Egypt and withdrew from Sinai proving that it is ready to give back territories in return of peace.
Egypt renounced control over the Gaza Strip. In 2005 the State of Israel, after the Oslo agreements with the Palestinians, actually proved its intention to support the peace process, by unilaterally withdrawing from the Gaza Strip. Israel accepted the Gaza Strip to be under the administration of the Palestinian Authority.

Unfortunately, as it is proven by the facts of the recent years, Gaza was turned into a terrorist shell which cannot be controlled even by the official Palestinian Authority. Since then over than 1.000 Israeli citizens were killed in suicide attacks and Hamas’ rockets. These violent attacks have as main target the destruction of the State of Israel, the dissemination of fear among the citizens of Israel and the accumulation of human casualties, while at the same time they undermine every negotiation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Israel has accepted and immediately implemented the cease-fire agreement proposed by Egypt on July 15, 2014, yet, without receiving the relevant response from the opposite side which kept on firing rockets against Israeli cities with no distinction between military targets and civilians.

Negotiations for finding a solution that would guarantee the safety of the citizens of the State of Israel and the foundation of an independent Arab Palestinian State is the only way to pursue, so as to put an end to the bloodshed and the grief of innocent people.

The Greek Jewry hopes that prudence will prevail over hatred and fanaticism, along with the light of peace over the darkness of war.
Athens, July 16, 2014
Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece 


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