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Wednesday, 20 July 2016 10:52

For the past several years Europe goes through an ongoing crisis. Economic destabilization has inter alia altered to a great extent the nature of relations amongst European citizens. Tolerance of the Europeans towards the refugees, the immigrants and any other minority decreases daily. This fact is also confirmed by the recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center on European scale.

The idea of a multicultural society seems to have collapsed for good. In the face of the immigrant European citizens see the foreign that will be a burden to economy and will endanger national security. The recent terrorist attacks intensify xenophobic and racist feelings as they offer ground for rushed assessments. In this context the rates of Islamophobia have dramatically increased in the recent period.

Regarding our country, the results are highly worrisome. Greece lies steadily among the first countries with the highest scores of negative opinions towards immigrants and refugees. Greece also holds the highest score in Europe regarding society’s negative attitudes towards the Jews. These results must not come as a surprise to us. For a long time diffused anti-Semitism is common in Greece, as this recent survey came to confirm. Anti-Semitic incidents increase more and more. Intolerance seems to have put roots in the very heart of society. The rhetoric of stereotypes and conspiracy theories, as well as prejudice against the Jews, and secondly against the Muslims, is widely tolerated by a major part of Greek society.

Therefore, let this survey be a starting point for reaction. It is time that all competent authorities rise high to the challenge of their responsibilities.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece tirelessly struggles against phenomena of intolerance, fanaticism, and primarily of anti-Semitism. Nevertheless, it is our belief that all social forces need to act jointly so that such phenomena be contained in the future. To this end, the role of major academic institutions, the Church, the Academy of Athens, and the Universities is of crucial importance.

The Greek Ministry of Education, through a series of educational programmes, as well as local Mayors and Metropolitan Bishops have already undertaken important initiatives so as to diffuse to the Greek society knowledge of the rich Greek Jewish heritage and the tragedy of the Holocaust. Restrict to extinction the feelings of intolerance of a society is not an easy goal to achieve. Starting with education -along with the cooperation of the competent Ministry, we have still a long way in front of us. There is no time for complacency.

 Athens, July 19, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece


- Read here the article by the President of the Athens Jewish Community Mr. Minos Moissis entitled “A survey by Pew Research Center: Food for thought and action”

- The Algemeiner, July 13, 2016: Study. Among Europeans, Greeks have most negative attitude toward Jews.

- See here the STUDY of the PEW Research Center


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