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ANTI-VACCINATION & ANTI-SEMITISM
By Victor Isaak Eliezer*

The waves of the anti-vaccination advocates are not harmless. They base their arguments on conspiracy theories, prejudices and stereotypes, with absolutely no scientific justification. Vaccination is considered as a threat to the national and religious identity of the nation.

Flags and religious symbols are integral "tools" of the anti-vaccination campaign and the protests of the anti-vaccination supporters. The phenomenon is spreading rapidly in France, Germany, Italy and in Greece.

The use of violence is part of the planning of the demonstrations, in order to ensure their widest possible coverage in the media and on the internet. The far right, which has longed to seize every opportunity to promote fascist and Nazi ideals, does not hesitate to adopt the argumentation of the anti-vaccination supporters, in order to appear once again as the pre-eminent anti-systemic movement, even organizing “task forces” which aim to spread fear and panic.

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MEMORIAL UNVEILING IN THE LIANOKLADI TRAIN STATION IN MEMORY OF THE JEWS FORCED TO SLAVE LABOUR IN THE RAILWAYS DURING THE GERMAN OCCUPATION
An unknown aspect of the occupation and the Holocaust of the Greek Jews came to light with the unveiling of the reconstructed monument for the Jews who were sent by the Nazis to slave labor on the railway network of the Lianokladi-Karya area (Central Greece, Fthiotida region). The unveiling took place at noon on Thursday, October 14, 2021, at the Lianokladi railway station, in the presence of the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Costas Karamanlis. The original Monument -erected in 1988- was probably destroyed during the renovation of the Lianokladi railway station.

The new Monument was rebuilt with the approval and actions of the Hellenic Railways Organization (HRO), and the cooperation of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), and was located to a prominent position, at the station dock to remind of the extent of the Nazis’ atrocities. The unveiling began with addresses by the President of the HRO Mr. Spyridon Pateras, the President of KIS Mr. David Saltiel and the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Mr. Costas Karamanlis, who unveiled the Memorial after a prayer from the Rabbi of Athens, Mr. Gabriel Negrin. The Metropolitan Bishop of Fthiotida H.E. Symeon, also addressed the event.

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MARGARITIS SCHINAS VISISTED THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF THESSALONIKI – “NO ROOM FOR FASCISM AND NAZISM”

"In modern European Greece, but also in democratic Thessaloniki, there is no room for fascism and Nazism. Those who make the mistake of insisting on these practices should know that history will remind them of what happened," the Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, said on Sunday October 10, 2021, during his visit to the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki while assuring the Jewish communities of Europe that the European Union will support them in the face of modern threats. Schinas sent a clear message that Thessaloniki is a European metropolis in which there is no room for rhetorical hatred.

Thessaloniki will always remain a European metropolis of extroversion, democracy, peaceful coexistence, and dialogue. "A European metropolis where raiding battalions, rhetoric and symbols of hatred do not fit."
Schinas' visit to Thessaloniki and the Jewish Museum is of particular importance as it took place a few days after the presentation of the EU's first strategy to fight anti-Semitism and preserve Jewish life, which was emphasized by the European Commission Vice-President.

"As Vice President, I want to assure the Jewish communities in Europe that the EU will not leave them unprotected from the many modern threats that are overshadowing their lives today. We will guarantee their safety, we will strengthen their education and culture, we will do everything to preserve the historical memory of the Holocaust, especially now that the last survivors are leaving us without their personal stories," Schinas underlined.

Mr. David Saltiel, the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, welcomed and accompanied Mr. Schinas to the tour of the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki. Mr. Saltiel expressed the appreciation of the world Jewry for the “remarkable work in support of the Jewish Communities in Europe” achieved by the EC Vice President. “It is our duty to promote knowledge and research, educate the young people so that they are immune to neo-Nazi ideologies, because these ideas abolish human rights and the very values of humanism”, said Mr. Saltiel. “We must continue our fight against fascism, racism and antisemitism. This Museum is a pillar of knowledge. The schools that visit it learn about the history of the Holocaust, while educational trips to the Museum of Auschwitz are organized so that the youngsters realize the magnitude of the Holocaust. As years go by and the survivors pass away, the duty to preserve memory and fight antisemitism passes on to us”, Saltiel stressed.

 
EUROPEAN JEWISH CONGRESS CALLS ON GREEK PRIME MINISTER SAMARAS TO SUPPORT ANTI-RACISM LAW Print E-mail
Friday, 31 May 2013 07:34
President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) Dr. Moshe Kantor has called on Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to support an anti-racism bill which would outlaw incitement against people because of their race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation, and impose jail sentences of up to six years on offenders, according to reports.
“It is imperative that Prime Minister Samaras support this law which would bolster existing legislation against hate and racism,” Kantor said. “With anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia on the rise in Greece, the law enforcement authorities need tougher tools to curb this growing wave of hate rapidly spreading across the country.”
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RONALD S. LAUDER LAMENTS FAILURE BY GOVERNING PARTIES TO AGREE ON BILL AGAINST HATE SPEECH Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 09:48
The president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), Ronald S. Lauder, today expressed disappointment with Greece for its continued failure to adopt new legislation to combat hate speech, racism and the denial of the Holocaust. “It is very worrying that the mainstream parties in Athens are apparently unable to find a compromise on this important matter. Hate mongers and extremists such as the leaders of Golden Dawn are not only a threat to minorities such as the Jews; they are a threat to democracy as a whole. Hence, they ought to be fought vigorously by all democratic forces, and with the full force of the law,” Lauder declared.  
On Monday, a meeting of the leaders of the parties that form the Greek government on this issue broke up without an agreement. A draft bill by the Greek Justice Ministry is reportedly being opposed by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy party, which argues that existing legislation suffices in order to deal with racism and hate speech.
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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE TRIAL OF GREEK JEWRY REPRESENTATIVES Print E-mail
Friday, 24 May 2013 11:21
On May 22, 2013, Konstantinos Plevris dropped all charges brought against representatives of Greek Jewry, namely Moses Constantinis, the former President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (Greek abbreviation: KISE), Benjamin Albalas, President of the Jewish Community of Athens, Abraham Reitan, former Secretary General of KISE, Leon Gavrielidis former Director of KISE, as well as the representatives of the NGO, Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM), Panayote Dimitras and Andrea Gilbert.
Consequently, the court definitely ended prosecution against the above mentioned individuals on charges of defamation. The same court exonerated the above mentioned representatives of Greek Jewry and the GHM of charges of false accusations.
In a period that racism and anti-Semitism are making their presence felt in Greece, the Central Board of Jewish Communities expresses Greek Jewry’s satisfaction over the fact that its representatives, who defended the dignity of Jews in Greece, serving as witnesses for the prosecution in the trials against Konstantinos Plevris, have finally been cleared of any criminal offence.
 
Athens, May 24, 2013
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
 
RACISM & XENOPHOBIA NOT THE ANSWER TO GREECE'S PROBLEMS, AJC CHIEF SAYS Print E-mail
Friday, 31 May 2013 08:02
Peddling xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism is not the path to a restored and vibrant Greece,”says David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), in an interview with Kathimerini, in which he expresses concern about the growing influence of Golden Dawn, the neofascist party elected to Greek Parliament last summer.
Harris talks about the growing interest of US investors in Greece and stresses that Washington welcomes the ever-closer cooperation between Greece, Israel and Cyprus in the area of energy.
The AJC chief also talks about Washington’s ties with Ankara and US diplomatic efforts to improve ties between Turkey and Israel, which became strained following a 2010 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, in which eight Turks and a Turkish-American were killed.
 
How do you feel about the decision by the Greek prime minister to cancel his scheduled participation at the upcoming AJC Global Forum, as he failed to also secure a meeting with US President Barack Obama?
Needless to say, we were very disappointed to receive the news, as we had been most eager to welcome Prime Minister Samaras to the AJC Global Forum. He has been a long-standing and cherished friend of AJC for over two decades, and he would have received a rousing ovation from the audience of over 1,500 attendees. That said, we fully understand the decision he took. This would be his first visit to Washington as the Greek prime minister, and it is obviously important that he also use the occasion to meet President Obama. Due to White House scheduling difficulties, regrettably, that was not possible at the time of this year’s AJC Global Forum. But even if Prime Minister Samaras is unable to join us this time, we are delighted that our good friend Foreign Minister [Dimitris] Avramopoulos will be addressing us in Washington on June 3.
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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR OUTBURST OF ANTISEMITIC SPEECH Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 09:21
Last week, a number of incidents involving anti-Semitic rhetoric caused the reaction of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, which issued  an announcement.
The announcement refers to Golden Dawn MP Christos Papas who admitted admiration of Hitler during a parliament session: Following a verbal exchange between MP Papas and SYRIZA MP Tatsopoulos the latter read an excerpt from an article written in the past by Christos Papas in which he praised Hitler and national socialism. In response MP Papas thanked MP Tatsopoulos for “having reminded from this podium the writings of his youth” and added that “the future of the world belongs to nationalism”.
The second incident refers to anti-Semitic statements made by the President of LAOS party George Karatzaferis. In his TV show entitled “All Greece, just a neighbourhood”, broadcasted by ART channel (owned by Karatzaferis, former Tele Asty), Karatzaferis, inter alia, pointed out that there are no poor Greek Jews while all other Greeks suffer from the economic crisis.
There follows our Board’s announcement:
“The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, points out that during the previous week, praisers of Nazism and sworn anti-Semites tried to create an atmosphere of Anti-Semitism and to turn the Greek public opinion against the Jews by launching shameless accusations against them, based on Nazi characterised stereotypes.
When a parliamentary praises Nazism in the Greek Parliament, in the bastion of Democracy, and when a political party’s leader launches unfounded and false accusations against the Jews, then extreme Anti-Semitism spreads its tentacles undisturbed, fomenting the foundations of Democracy itself.
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