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A meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had the Special Envoy on Combatting Anti-Semitism, Dr. Efstathios Lianos Liantis, in view of the visit of the Primate of Orthodoxy to the Auschwitz concentration camp, in order to lead the March of the Living, on May 2nd, 2019.

The Ecumenical Patriarch blessed the mission of removing every anti-Semitic stereotype and highlighted the need for co-operation between the actors of Christianity and Judaism, which the Ecumenical Throne has been realizing throughout its ministry through interreligious dialogue and many other initiatives of joint action. 

He also stressed that he was willing to take coordinating action in the Christian world in order to eliminate the social pathogenesis of anti-Semitism and to preserve the commitment to fight any negative prejudice and persecution in the name of religion. 
“Never Again’ March in Thessaloniki marked anniversary of first deportation to Auschwitz

THE TIMES OF ISRAEL, March 18, 2019, by Vassilis Kyriakoulis: Two thousand people held a silent march in Thessaloniki, marking the anniversary of the departure in 1943 of the first train taking members of its Jewish community to Auschwitz. Participants held white balloons bearing the message “Never Again.” They gathered at the city’s old railway station where that train pulled out on March 15, 1943. Among those present for the 76th anniversary commemoration was Jurgen Haus, grandson of a German soldier, who expressed his “deep regret” for the actions of his Nazi forebears. “I am here to break the silence… I love Israel, I cannot remain silent in the face of antisemitism,” he said in a speech. 

Holocaust survivors Heinz Kounio and Achileas Koukovinos were honoured during the commemorations. Thessaloniki had a population of more than 50,000 Jews before World War II, some 46,000 of whom were deported and killed in German Nazi death camps. 

Before the deportations started, the community in the city, which was composed mainly of Sephardic Jews chased out of Spain in 1492, had developed to the point where it earned the nickname the “Jerusalem of the Balkans.”


The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses Greek Jewry’s deep concern and dismay for the deadly terrorist attacks with multiple casualties on two mosques in the city of Christchurch, in New Zealand. We strongly and unequivocally condemn this blatant act of cruel violence and we extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.  

This time the innocent victims of terror were Muslim worshipers at the time of prayer. The escalation of the attacks and widespread fanaticism bring the international community in front of its responsibilities and prove that hatred has no limits, it comes from everywhere and affects everyone.     

The danger from the dissemination of extremist theories regarding racial supremacy is today greater than ever in the post-World War II era. Knowledge and education, focusing on the respect of human rights and the tolerance for diversity, must be the first priority goal for State and social institutions, as well as for religious communities in order to prevent mourning new victims as those of Christchurch and Pittsburgh.        

Athens, March 18, 2019

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 13:31
WJC, NEW YORK 17.12.2018: The World Jewish Congress stands with our affiliated community, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, in strongly condemning the desecration of the Holocaust Monument in Thessaloniki over the weekend, for the fourth time this year.

“The World Jewish Congress unequivocally condemns the shameful and repeated desecration of the Holocaust monument in Thessaloniki,” said WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer. “It is alarming and disgraceful that a monument honoring the memory of Jews who perished in the Holocaust should become a routine target for those espousing vile expressions of hatred and antisemitism.”

“We are extremely concerned by the steady rise of antisemitic vandalism facing the Jewish community in Greece and elsewhere in Europe. This desecration, as well as the vandalization of cemeteries in Poland and in France in the past week alone, should ring alarm bells for anyone who believes that these incidents are isolated and passing.

Monday, 17 December 2018 13:30
On December 15, 2018, the Holocaust Monument in Thessaloniki was once more vandalized, for the forth time within this year, by followers of Nazism who spray-painted the swastika on its surface leaving their imprint of bigotry.

Enough with the desecration of memory of the Holocaust victims by the seekers of obscurantism and all those who tolerate them. The repeated condemnations of antisemitism will be useless if the perpetrators are not arrested and brought to Justice.

Only a few days after the release of the shocking findings if the FRA Second Survey on Antisemitism in Europe, the new vandal attack against the Holocaust Monument in Thessaloniki indicates the absolute need for immediate action and taking of measures also in Greece.

At the same time, in the spirit of the relevant EU Council Declaration on the fight against antisemitism, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece repeats the proposal for the endorsement by Greece of the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism, which provides a practical guide to the identification and the confrontation of antisemitic crimes.

In addition, we relaunch the appeal to reinforce educational and social awareness initiatives because it is only through knowledge that society might be fortified against the preachers of hatred.

Athens, December 17, 2018

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 13:42
The city of Trikala honored its 139 citizens of Jewish faith, perished in the Nazi concentration camps by unveiling a tear-shaped Holocaust Memorial, in a ceremony which has been attended by Holocaust survivors, IHRA diplomatic representatives, and Jews from all over Greece. The three-day celebration in Memory of the Holocaust, from the 9th to the 11th of November 2018, reached its highest point at the unveiling ceremony of an outstandingly carved symbolic monument. At the entrance of the old Jewish quarter of Trikala, at the pedestrian walkway on Ploutonos street, a tear formed by railways with an olive tree in the center, reminds the long deportation journey that Jews from Trikala and other Greek cities had to take aboard the "death trains" on their way to the extermination camps. Only a few of them survived, like 97 year old Naki Bega, an Auschwitz survivor, and Victor Venouziou, a hidden child, who honored the ceremony with their presence. A marble column lies close to the Monument and an inscription in three languages - Greek, Hebrew and English - reminds the city about the character of this Memorial and the duty of the society.

The events have been a point of reference, not only in Greece but in several foreign countries, as well. These were co-organized by the Italian Embassy, on the occasion of this year’s Italian chairmanship of IHRA (the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance), the Municipality of Trikala, the Greek delegation to IHRA, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Jewish Museum of Greece, with the cooperation and support of the Jewish Communities of Thessaloniki and Trikala, the Italian School of Athens and the Tsitsanis Museum. Ambassadors and representatives of 14 countries were also present: Italy, the Czech Republic, Luxemburg, Israel, Switzerland, Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Portugal, Hungary, Poland,Romania, Uruguay and the United States of America.

Next to the "Fence" by Victor Is. Eliezer*, a conversation with Danny Tirza, Commander of the unit that built the "Fence" which separates Israel from the Palestinian Authority territories Print E-mail
Monday, 17 December 2018 11:51
From the neighborhood of Gilo, built on a hill, one of the first districts the Israelis have built in Eastern Jerusalem after the six day war in 1967, one can easily spot the imposing church of Saint Nicholas, just some meters away from the refugee camps of Beit Jalla and El Aydah, which seem to have been built like real cities. Just there, together with 25 journalists from Europe, North and South America we met Danny Tirza, a retired Israeli Army colonel, who was the Commander of the unit that built the "Fence" which separates Israel from the Palestinian Authority territories.

The way to the "Fence"

Colonel Tirza has served in the army for thirty years and was part of the negotiations with the Palestinians for the transformation of the refugee camps into dwellings. Consequently, in the aftermath of Oslo Accords, he participated in the technical negotiations during the Camp David summit, in summer 2000, convened by Bill Clinton for the signature of the final agreement between Israeli PM Ehud Barak and the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

It was there when I met Yasser Arafat at first. He came to embrace me, as he usually did: “No kissing, but working together”, I told him and we started to chart maps. Ever since the Palestinians called me by a nickname, "Abu Harita" which means "the father of the maps", colonel Tirza assured. He described how these negotiations were blown to pieces: "We had concluded with the mapping. Barak conceded to Arafat 94% of the lands on the West bank, on the Jordan river, the whole of Gaza strip and gave him sovereignty on the Holly Mosques of Jerusalem. That was to say the totality of the lands Israel occupied during the 1967 war and were previously ruled by Jordan and Egypt. Clinton asked Arafat to sign. Arafat left for consultations and came back three hours later declaring that he could not sign without the approval of the other Arab states. Clinton blasted him and the big chance for peace was lost. In September 2000, everything changed as the intifada started". 

Thursday, 01 November 2018 09:40
On the 30th of October 2018 the following article, titled "PITTSBURGH 27.10.2018: A BIGOTRY THAT CAUSED BLOODSHED" by journalist Victor I. Eliezer, correspondent of ‘Yedioth Achronoth’ daily and Secretary General of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece,  appeared at the Greek www. in the aftermath of the Anti-Semitic attack against the Synagogue of Pittsburgh:  
Bigotry has no rationality ... it is diffused sometimes by speech and others by violence. Whenever the language of abhorrence is tolerated by a society without any reaction, then the path to violent action is short. 
Pittsburgh's murderer did not reveal his hate against Jews on the very day he started slaughtering in the Synagogue, during the prayers of Shabbat. Nobody reacted to the cry "Jews, you will die"; the threat was underestimated or was considered as one "peculiarity" more, though this attack was the most sanguinary in the history of American Jews. The ones who believed that what occurred in Argentina, some years ago, in Paris, in Brussels and recently in Copenhagen could also happen in the American province of Pennsylvania, were few.  
Bigotry has no geographical limits. Many consider that theories blaming Jews, the adoption of conspiracy stereotypes and the demonization of the State of Israel can be formulated just as "simple painless and harmless definitions". Nevertheless, these simple and harmless definitions arm the hands not only of an Anti-Semite ideologist, but also those of any paranoiac who believes that by killing some Jews he relieves mankind from any carcinoma, sanctifies himself and goes straight to paradise.
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