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HOLOCAUST MONUMENT IN LARISSA VANDALIZED BY ALLEGED CLERGYMAN

In the evening of Monday July 17, 2017, an individual dressed as a monk who calls himself ‘father Kleomenis’ -a cult figure, popular for his bigot ideas and You tube posts- attacked and vandalized the Holocaust Monument in Larissa, situated in the central Jewish Martyrs Square of the city. In his video posted on You Tube, the alleged monk curses the Jews, denies the Holocaust and calls on the local patriots of Larissa to intervene and demolish the Monument. "Father" Kleomenis spits, kicks and throws eggs at the Monument. Some of his characteristic quotes: “Here, we read 6 million! Fairy tails… Shit on their faces, merely 600.000 Hitler wiped out!”. Kleomenis spits the Monument and says: “Satanic Jews”. He kicks the Monument and says: “Curse on your dirty Monuments” and continues: “Worms, Jewish bitches, this has to fall. The stinking Jewishness has to be taken down from Larissa. Rise up! Patriotic organizations of Larissa take it down, bring the bulldozer on!”Local police was notified and legal procedure was enacted. Investigation is ongoing. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) and the Jewish Community of Larissa issued press releases. The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church issued an announcement disassociating itself from the "monk" and condemning his actions.

The Municipality of Larissa issued an Announcement condemning the attack. The General Secretary of Religious Affairs George Kalantzis, as well as the General Secretary for Transparency and Human Rights Maria Giannakaki reacted swiftly by providing the Public Prosecutor of Larissa, the Racist Crimes Department of the Police, and the Cyber Crime Police Department with the relevant evidence. The President of the Jewish Community of Larissa pressed charges against the perpetrator. The Greek Helsinki Monitor also pressed charges against the “so called ‘father Kleomenis’ for a series of racist crimes”.

* The Announcement of KIS:

Shame and outrage are the feelings that one feels when realizes what happened in Larissa on Monday July 17, 2017: The shameful and upsetting incident of the desecration of the Holocaust Monument of Larissa –the first Holocaust Monument erected in Greece in 1987, in the memory of the Greek Jews deported and exterminated in the Nazi death camps. This highly significant Monument was vulgarly vandalized, with offensive expressions and brutal actions, by a robed clergyman who apparently has no affiliation to the Greek Orthodox Church.  On the same day leaflets of relevant anti-Semitic content were strewn across the Monument and the Square of Jewish Martyrs of Larissa. The case is being handled by the Police and the justice system. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece asked the competent  Authorities to arrest the perpetrator and bring him to justice.

In addition KIS expresses the Greek Jewry’s belief that the society of Larissa and all local institutions will firmly condemn the incident, will isolate the perpetrators and will treat with respect the Holocaust Monument of Larissa and the Jewish Community which is an integral part of the city, that they will ultimately respect the city’s very cultural heritage and civilization, as the people of Larissa have always done in the course of history.

Athens July 18, 2017

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 

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PRESS RELEASE OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LARISSA FOR THE VANDALIZATION OF THE HOLOCAUST MONUMENT

In the afternoon of  Monday July 17, 2017, in Larisa, Greece, the so-called Father Cleomenis with his clerical clothing, well-known from the social media for his racist mania, has defiled the Holocaust Monument of the town.

With vulgar insults, kicking and throwing eggs and flyers of anti-Semitic content at the Holocaust Monument of the town of Larisa, “Father Cleomenis” denied the Holocaust and invited all the self-called “patriotic” organizations of Larissa to stand up in order to destroy the Memorial and the “Jewishness” of the city of Larissa. The incident has been filmed by his associates and has been already uploaded to Youtube.

The Jewish Community of Larissa expresses its abhorrence for this violent incident that just took place in a town whose citizens and local authorities show respect and honor to this Monunent; in a town that has never experienced similar incidents in the past. Our Community expresses its satisfaction for the immediate mobilization of the Police Authorities.

We feel confident that in the town of Larissa, fanaticism, intolerance, racist discourse or any other similar phenomenon will be isolated and will be fought at its birth.

Athens, July 18, 2017
JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LARISSA

 
GREEK ARTIST COMPARES ECONOMIC CRISIS TO THE HOLOCAUST

Singer Jimmy Panoussis, in an interview published in “To Vima” on June 25, 2017 (on the occasion of his participation in the theatrical comedy of Aristophanes “Peace”), referred to the “Greeks as the new Jews of our times”. Panoussis said: “As the Nazis chose Jews to be their victims, now the neo-nazis and Schäuble’s people have picked us, the Greeks”. This comparison of the current Greek economic crisis to the Holocaust was criticized Greek Jewish leaders. In an article by Victor Eliezer (EJP, July 4, 2017), the President of the Athens Jewish Community Minos Moissis stressed that Panoussis’ statement “affects me both as a Jew and as a Greek. As a Jew, because once again the mass murder of the Holocaust is wiped out when it is compared to unrelated modern themes. As a Greek because he isolates me as a supposedly victim and target of a Europe in which I want to live”. 
* READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE

 
KIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONDEMNING THE TERRORIST ATTACKS IN ISTANBUL AND CAIRO Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 08:51

The terrorist attack that occurred on Saturday 10 December 2016, in Istanbul, Turkey, with thirty-eight people dead and many other wounded, perpetuates a cycle of terrorist violence in the neighboring country. The Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece condemns terrorist violence in all its forms and manifestations. At the same time, we would like to express our deepest regret for the tragic loss of human lives and our warm condolences to the families of the victims.

The ink was barely dry on the announcement concerning the sad news from Istanbul, when the world was shocked by another deadly bombing attack against the people attending the Sunday mass at the Coptic Cathedral, the church of St. Marc in Cairo, on Sunday 11 December 2016. The Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece expresses the full support of the Greek Jewry for the Coptic community of Egypt, which once again became the target of an extremist attack. We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. At the same time, we hope that the Egyptian government will stand determined against those responsible for this attack of hate and intolerance.

Athens, 12 December 2016

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE
 
KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE STATEMENT OF THE FORMER JUSTICE MINISTER Print E-mail
Monday, 12 December 2016 14:26

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) issued the following announcement in reaction to a statement made by former Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos (also in his interview published on Sunday’s edition of ‘Vradini’ newspaper, of Dec. 11, 2016), in which he expressed his viewpoint on the “integration of Golden Dawn within the democratic political system”. The frm. Minister’s statement arose strong criticism which led him to issue a clarifying announcement. KIS’s announcement reads as follows:

“The convergence with the neo-Nazi party in the context of the democratic political system cannot but lead to its own abolishment, to the alteration of the very democracy itself that the neo-Nazis aim at destroying. Every democratic society needs to protect the democratic institutions, safeguard civilization and human rights regardless of skin colour, race or religion, against the followers of the darkest page of our history, against the nightmare of neo-Nazism in Greece.

We hope that former Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos will take into account that those who have the swastika as their emblem cannot be integrated in any democratic framework and that there can be no convergence with the seekers of a regime that led humanity to its most barbaric period in history, that caused a ruthless war with millions of victims and sent six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of other “different” people to the most industrialized and horrific death.

Athens, December 12, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
GERMAN F.M. F.W. STEINMEIER NAMED HONORARY MEMBER OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF THESSALONIKI Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 09:12

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier visited Thessaloniki and was proclaimed Honorary Member of the Jewish Community during a highly symbolic ceremony held on Sunday December 4th, 2016, at the Monastiriotes Synagogue. 

Earlier that morning, the German Foreign Minster had inaugurated the exhibition “Divided Memories 1940-1950- The distance between history and experience” at the Macedonian Museum of Modern Art, in Thessaloniki. The exhibition, co-organized by the Goethe Institute Thessaloniki, the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki, the Macedonian Museum of Modern Art and the Deutches Historisches Museum of Berlin, is hosted by the Macedonian Museum of Modern Art and its duration is until February 26th, 2016.  The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki participates with a separate section, which includes historic evidence (records – photographs), films and projections of documents, divided into three parts.

Following the inauguration of the exhibition, Minister Steinmeier was proclaimed an honorary member of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, in a ceremony at the Monastiriotes Synagogue. Upon his arrival, Dr. Steinmeier visited the exhibit of religious artifacts that is kept in the Synagogue and lit a candle in memory of the 50.000 Jews from Thessaloniki that perished in the Holocaust.

Mr. David Saltiel, President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki welcoming Minister Steinmeier in the Synagogue said: “The Jewish Community of Thessaloniki in acknowledgement of your contribution towards the promotion of the relations between the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki and the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as your commitment towards combating Anti-Semitism and racism, has decided to bestow upon you the title of its Honorary Member.”

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WJC PRESIDENT LAUDER: TERROR ATTACKS IN ISTANBUL AND CAIRO ARE ‘AN ATTACK ON ALL OF US’ Print E-mail
Monday, 12 December 2016 10:13

WJC, 11.12.2016: Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), on Sunday strongly condemned the deadly terrorist attacks in Istanbul and Cairo, calling them "crimes against humanity".

At least 25 people were killed when a bomb exploded at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo during Sunday mass. On Saturday, 38 people were killed and many more wounded in a twin bomb attack in Istanbul, which was claimed by a radical Kurdish group.

In response to the attack in Egypt, Lauder declared: "An attack on Christian worshippers at a church in Cairo is not only an attack on Christians; it is an attack on all of us. We could all be victims. Tonight, Jews around the world are shocked by this barbaric act, and we stand in solidarity with the embattled Coptic community in Egypt as it mourns so many of its members.

"We call on the authorities in Egypt to do everything they can to stop further bloodshed, to ensure that sites of worship are being protected, and to do everything to bring those who perpetrated this attack to justice," he added.

Attacks against Egypt's Orthodox Coptic Christian community, which makes up 10 percent of the country's population, have intensified since 2011. More than two dozen sectarian assaults have targeted the community this year alone.  Sunday's bombing was the gravest sectarian attack on Christians in recent years.

The WJC president also expressed his sorrow at the twin bomb attack in Istanbul on Saturday: "The people of Turkey have been the target of so many terrorist attacks in recent months, and in this moment of despair and anguish, we send them a message of solidarity on behalf of the Jewish people," said Lauder.

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ISRAEL ON FIRE, GREECE IN SOLIDARITY. THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF KIS Print E-mail
Friday, 25 November 2016 14:16

Haifa is burning and the mountains around Jerusalem are on fire too. Hundreds of people are injured and thousands are evacuating their homes.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the all the Greek Jewry express their full support to the residents of Israel who were injured or were hit by the fires. We wish for the immediate restoration of the damages.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece congratulates the Greek Government on the immediate positive response to the request of the Israeli Prime Minister to Greece for assistance in order to put out the devastating fires widespread in Israel.  

We wish all the Greek pilots, the firefighters and the technicians of the Greek delegation good luck to their mission. We highly appreciate the courage and solidarity they demonstrate in dealing with this disaster and wish them to thrive always in strength and health.   

This tragic situation proves that the cooperation between Greece and Israel is not only based on common interests but also on strong bonds of friendship between the two peoples.

Athens, November 25, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

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