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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.

Shakespeare or Chekhov in the Middle East - Article by Victor Isaak Eliezer
 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.

Isaac Mizan, the last Holocaust survivor from the (former) Jewish community of Arta in northwest Greece and one of the last survivors alive, died at the age of 94. Mizan was born in 1927 in Arta, where he lived until 1961. He was the last of six children of the family of Joseph and Anetta Mizan.In March 1944 he was arrested by the Nazis, along with 351 other Arta Jews. They were transferred to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp and then to Bergen-Belzen.

He returned to Greece and Arta in August 1945. Of the twelve members of the Mizan family who were forced on the death voyage to Auschwitz, only three returned.

“His last wish, before he passed away, was to return to his birthplace, where the house where he and his family were taken from on March 24, 1944, is still preserved,” Dimitris Vlachopanos, who wrote Mizan’s biography, said.

He was the last Jew of Arta to leave his hometown at the age of 35 for Athens, but his love for his city remained unquenchable to the end.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021 10:32
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses its solidarity towards the people of Israel, under attack for the past 48 hours, by rocket bombardments launched by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

The choice of the terrorist organizations to escalate violence on Jerusalem Day, through attacks against civilian population in Israel, is characteristic of the practices they use in order to reach their target, which is nothing less than the annihilation of the Jewish state from the world map.

The State of Israel, as any other country in the world in case of relevant attacks against its population, has the undisputed and legal right to defend its boarders and the safety of its citizens against sworn enemies that do not recognize even its right to exist.

We stand side by side with the people of Israel attacked yet one more time by the forces of terror and intolerance, and we convey the condolences of the Greek Jewry to the families of the victims along with our wishes for the speedy recovery of the wounded.

Athens, May 12, 2021
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Tuesday, 01 June 2021 11:02

The IHRA Athens Plenary takes place in digital form, from 31 May to 10 June 2021. 

Around 200 delegates, experts and observers from the 34 member states of the IHRA attend the Athens Plenary to discuss politically relevant issues related to the Holocaust and the genocide of the Sinti and Roma. 

Committed to the principles that inspired the assumption of the annual IHRA Presidency by Greece in April as well as to its priorities, the Greek Presidency is hosting in the Athens Plenary the IHRA’s experts and political representatives who will focus their efforts on countering Holocaust distortion and safeguarding the historical record. Our common aim is to strengthen the moral commitment of societies and to combat growing Holocaust denial and anti-semitism.

Athens Plenary in Action

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias welcomes delegates to IHRA Athens Plenary 2021

“It is my privilege to welcome today to Athens, the participants to the first Plenary of the Holocaust International Remembrance Alliance under the 2021- 2022 ...

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Secretary General for Greeks Abroad & Public Diplomacy John Chrysoulakis' welcome address
Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy John Chrysoulakis welcomes delegates to IHRA Athens Plenary 2021

“Distinguished delegates of the IHRA member countries, I warmly welcome you to the online Athens Plenary Meeting in the capital of Greece, a city with ...

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IHRA Chair Ambassador Lazaris welcomes delegates to Athens Online Plenary
IHRA Chair Ambassador Chris Lazaris welcomes delegates to IHRA Athens Plenary 2021

“Excellencies, Heads of National Delegations, IHRA Colleagues, Dear Participants,

Welcome to Athens!

I do hope the video you have just viewed has enticed you to ...
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Monday, 05 April 2021 11:21

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece is very pleased to welcome the handover of the Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) to Greece.

Our country, member of IHRA since 2005, has a long term active role in initiatives for the preservation of the historic memory of the Shoah. The choice of the central theme “Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust: Education for a world with no more genocide” for Greece’s Presidency, demonstrates the importance attributed by Greece to Education and we are certain that the year inaugurated today will be filled with programs of core importance aiming at combating racism and anti-Semitism and establishing the respect of human rights in the conscience of the generations that will create the world of the future.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece always was and will continue to be a succor in IHRA’s important task, developing and reinforcing the constructive collaboration with its Head and the Greek Delegation of IHRA.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021 12:57

From grief to joy, from memory to life, from loss to creation. This is the meaning of the sequence of Yom Hazikaron –the memorial day for the soldiers fallen in defense of Israel and the victims of terror- being superseded by Yom Haatsmaout, Israel’s Independence Day. Both anniversaries include in their very core the history of the creation of the modern State of Israel.

Today, the victims, those who heroically fell in the battlefield fighting for the independence of the Jewish home on the land of Israel, as well as for the safety of the citizens of the State of Israel, are commemorated. More than 50% of the soldiers who fought in the war of Independence of 1948 were Holocaust survivors, who had settled in the British Mandate Palestine in the aftermath of WWII seeking hope.

Tomorrow we celebrate Israel’s 73rd birthday. Israel, one of the youngest states in the world, has remarkably succeeded in incorporating ancient history, tradition, multicultural origins, pioneering thinking, technology, innovation and progress. A country that in its brief modern history offered its unreserved support on any occasion of natural disaster in any part of the world. The birth and the evolution of Israel have been rightfully described as “miracles”.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Greek Jewry as a whole wish to the people and the State of Israel peace and prosperity and hope that its citizens will continue achieving modern-day miracles for the benefit of all humanity.

Athens, April  13, 2021

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Friday, 02 April 2021 12:55
Today, 1 April, the IHRA Presidency will be handed over from Germany to Greece. This means that the outgoing Chair, Ambassador Michaela Küchler, will take on a supportive role as a member of the Troika, which comprises last year’s, this year’s and next year’s IHRA Chairs. (Watch HERE the remarks of Ambassador Kuchler regarding the German Presidency of IHRA)

Normally, handovers are marked by ceremonies hosted at an embassy in the incoming Presidency’s country. However, this year, in keeping with the digital spirit of the past year and in lieu of an in-person ceremony, the outgoing and incoming Chairs prepared Handover Videos. These provide great insight into the promising plans for the future and the fruitful efforts of the past.

Ambassador Michaela Küchler outlined the challenges and successes of this unprecedented year. “Being able to work together across time zones, from Winnipeg to Berlin to Melbourne, required more than just a working microphone and a stable internet connection,” she said. “It required all of us to want to get something done. And we did.” 

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