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Funds have been provided by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany for the Emergency Assistance Program for Nazi Victims at the direction of the United States District Court supervising the lawsuit In RE: Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation (Swiss Banks).

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MITSOTAKIS MEETS WITH AJC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HARRIS

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.

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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.

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LAST GREEK JEWISH SURVIVOR OF AUSCHWITZ DIED
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.

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MITSOTAKIS, PIKRAMMENOS MEET WITH KIS CHAIRMAN & SECRETARY GENERAL Print E-mail
Friday, 09 October 2020 11:08
ATHENS -- Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Deputy Premier Panagiotis Pikrammenos met with Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) Chairman David Saltiel and Secretary General Victor Eliezer, at the Maximos Mansion on Thursday.

According to government sources, they welcomed the appeals court ruling on Wednesday condemning the former parliamentary party Golden Dawn as a criminal oganization, and said that it was a historic verdict for Greek justice.

Saltiel said the Jewish communities of Greece had expressed concern when members of the Golden Dawn took seats in parliament in 2012, and recalled the stances of former PM Antonis Samaras and the current PM that the Greek state will not tolerate violence by any neo-Nazi group.

The two sides also discussed the construction of the Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki and the events scheduled during Greece's presidency in 2021 of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), as well as events in the context of the 200th anniversary of the Greek uprise for independence in 1821.

SOURCE: 
thenationalherald.com, 8.10.2020

 
KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE COURT VERDICT CONVICTING GOLDEN DAWN AS A CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 October 2020 11:38
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece welcomes the historic verdict of the Greek Justice that delegitimizes the neo-Nazi organizations and at the same time fortifies Democracy in the country. Today’s court decision seals the truth of the matter: the magnitude of the danger the neonazi organizations represent while they exploit patriotism in order to disseminate hatred and promote obscurantism.

After the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, the violent attacks, the Nazi salutations in the Parliament, the Holocaust denial, the racist violence and the vandalism of Jewish sites, the Greek Jews express their satisfaction that the Greek Justice -following thorough and exhaustive consideration- defined the true face of the neo-Nazi organization. Nonetheless, we must not forget that in the past this organization had gained the trust of thousands of our compatriots and its leadership had seats in the Greek Parliament.

Having witnessed the horrors of Nazism, that counted 6 million victims of the Holocaust, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, since day one of their election, in 2012, had publicly stressed the dangers looming over Democracy and the need to combat the neo-Nazi organizations at all levels of public life.

Their delegitimization by the Greek Justice and their definition as “criminal organizations” does not mean that we let our guard down. On the contrary, it encourages the battle against Nazism so that the serpent’s egg will never be reborn in Greece.

Athens, October 7, 2020

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

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INTERPARLIAMENTARY PRESENCE AT THE ATHENS JEWISH CEMETERY EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY IN THE AFTERMATH OF “JUDEN RAUS” GRAFFITI Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 October 2020 13:15

In the aftermath of the hideous neo-Nazi graffiti at the Jewish cemetery of Athens, an interparliamentary group visited the cemetery, expressed solidarity towards the Greek Jews along with the firm stance that such practices and ideologies will not be tolerated in Greece.

MPs Maximos Harakopoulos and Stavros Kalafatis (New Democracy party), as well as Andreas Michailides and Ioannis Saraliotis (Syriza party) visited the site where the neonazi graffiti was already erased thanks to the swift reaction of the Municipality authorities. The MPs were welcomed and briefed by KIS General Treasurer Daniel Benardout, and by members of the Athens Jewish Community, the Vice President Daniel Emmanuel, the Treasurer Annita Soussi and the President of the Religious Affairs Committee Alexander Modiano.

Following a brief tour, the group was photographed in front of the Holocaust Monument situated in the cemetery.

After the meeting Mr. Daniel Benardout, KIS General Treasurer and Member of the Presidium, made the following statement: “In the first hours after the hate attack launched against the Jewish cemetery of Athens, I express the Greek Jewry’s gratitude towards the representatives of the Greek Parliament whose presence here today has made their condemnation and sorrow explicitly clear.  

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INTERVIEW OF VIKTOR ELIEZER, KISE GENERAL SECRETARY, CONCERNING THE VANDALISM OF THE JEWISH CEMETERY OF ATHENS Print E-mail
Friday, 09 October 2020 11:18

On Wednesday 7th October 2020, Viktor Eliezer, General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, conducted an interview at the newspaper "KATHIMERINI" and Mrs. Margarita Pournara, concerning the vandalism of the Jewish cemetery of Athens.

Victor Eliezer: Antisemitism begins against the Jews, but it does not stop there

The vandalism of the Jewish cemetery of Athens, with the hideous neo-Nazi graffiti is to be added to a chain of corresponding acts throughout the territory:  from Chania and Kavala up to Larisa and Rhodes, recently we see Greek Jewish monuments, synagogues and cemeteries becoming a target of extremists. In anticipation for today's verdict concerning the Golden Dawn case, it is quite natural one to wonder if actions like these have anything to do with the trial. Mostly, one wonders where does all this hatred leads, which every now and then becomes apparent.

"If one was to ask me whether or not Greece is an antisemitic country, I would reply with certainty, no. The Greek Jews, especially from the post-colonial period and onwards, live in a regime of equality, freedom and parity", says at the column the journalist and the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece Mr. Victor Isaak Eliezer (photo). "But if the question concerns the presence of anti-Semitic cases in the country, the answer is different. Luckily, up until today, hatred speech has not threatened human life, as we see happening in other European countries. Let me remind you, the recent attack at the synagogue of Hamburg, which was condemned by chancellor Merkel. Antisemitism begins against the Jews, but it does not stop with them. It concerns, then, the whole society, which wants to protect the values of freedom and democracy". 

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE ANTISEMITIC GRAFFITI AT THE JEWISH CEMETERY OF ATHENS Print E-mail
Monday, 05 October 2020 13:54

The followers of the neo-Nazi organizations strike again and remind us of their hatred against the Jews. Neo-Nazis vandalized the external surrounding walls of the Jewish cemetery of Athens with the same slogans the Nazis used 80 years ago in order to deport millions of Jews from their homes and exterminate six million in the gas chambers, amongst whom 60.000 Greek Jews.

We welcome the prompt reaction of the Athens Mayor, Kostas Bakoyannis, who put in motion the Municipality’s competent authorities that immediately erased the hideous slogans.

Nazism has no place in our democracy mainly because it promotes its destruction along with the prevalence of the total violation of human rights. We express the certainty that the Greek State will take all necessary measures so that the perpetrators will be arrested and face justice. 

We will not be intimidated. Zero tolerance for Nazism.

Altogether, citizens regardless of religion, law enforcement and justice authorities have to be in alert and make sure that the Nazi crimes against humanity will never be committed again. Antisemitism lays in the very root of the “absolute evil” that Nazism expresses. It starts with the Jews but never stops at them. Antisemitism targets the fundamental human rights that Europe needs to safeguard through concrete measures both in the context of Justice and Education.

Athens, October 5, 2020

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

REACTIONS BY THE GREEK GOVERNMENT

-Tweet by the MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS NIKOS DENDIAS:

“The vandal attack against the Jewish cemetery in Athens causes sorrow and repugnance. Nazism and its followers have no place in our society, in any society”.

-Announcement of the GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN STELIOS PETSAS:

 “The vandalism of the Jewish cemetery of Athens with Nazi slogans causes dismay to every democratic citizen. Nazism, antisemitism and their followers have no place in Greece and they will not be tolerated. The State has taken all necessary measures in order to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice”.

-Tweet by the MINISTER OF EDUCATION NIKI KERAMEUS:

“I have contacted the President of the Jewish Community of Athens and expressed our condemnation for the desecration of the Jewish Cemetery of Athens as well as our commitment that the Greek Ministry of Education will persistently continue with its practices to combat antisemitism”.

-Tweet by the MINISTER OF DEVELOPMENT ADONIS GEORGIADIS:

“Shame! This by no means expresses the feelings of the Greek people”

-Tweets by the EMBASSY OF ISRAEL in Greece. In three separate tweets, the embassy wrote:
“The heinous anti-Semitic graffiti found today on the walls of the Athens Jewish Cemetery during Jewish High Holidays is yet another reminder of the existence of evil”. “Together with many other proud Greek voices we stand against hate, racism and extremism based on ignorance and prejudice”. “We are certain of a prompt Greek authorities’ reaction and have full confidence such acts will not be tolerated. Hate will not deter us.”
 

-TWEET by the GERMAN AMBASSADOR: I join all my Greek friends in their resounding condemnation of such barbarism. Antisemitism must have no place in our sicieties, in whatever language it is expressed.

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