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THE GREEK JEWRY HAILS THE 30 YEARS OF UPGRADED DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN GREECE AND ISRAEL - ALBUM PRESENTATION WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF THE GREEK F.M. AND THE ISRAELI AMBASSADOR

The Greek Jewry hailed the 30th anniversary of full diplomatic relations between Greece and Israel during a teleconference convened by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), on May 25, 2020. The meeting, which was attended by the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, the Israeli ambassador to Greece Yossi Amrani, KIS President David Saltiel and the Board of Directors, representatives of the Greek Jewish Communities, as well as KIS’s past Presidents Benjamin Albalas and Nissim Mais, included the presentation of the digital on-line album entitled “30 YEARS OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN GREECE AND ISRAEL, 1990 – 2020. A TIMELINE – The Milestones of a productive cooperation”, edited by KIS (May 2020).  

KIS President David Saltiel in his opening remarks pointed out the role of the Greek Jewry in the relations between the two countries, with special reference to relevant important ongoing projects, as the Holocaust Museum and the programme of cultural events for 2021, when Greece will celebrate the 200 years of its independence and will assume the chairmanship of the IHRA. “The Greek Jews feel as the bridge that unites the two philosophies that shaped our civilization: the Greek philosophy, that founded the principles of democracy and freedom and the Jewish philosophy, that founded the principles of monotheism, justice, solidarity and humanism”, stressed David Saltiel and continued: “Today Greece and Israel cooperate multifariously for the prosperity of their people, for the stability and peace in the sensitive region of the Eastern Mediterranean. Mr Minister and Mr Ambassador, KIS was, is and will remain a supporter of this cooperation boosting every effort that brings closer the people of the two countries”, Saltiel concluded.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE 30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOGNITION OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL BY GREECE
The 30th anniversary of the official recognition of the State of Israel by Greece mark the horizons of a dynamic and productive cooperation of the two countries aiming at the progress and the prosperity of the two peoples.

Political cooperation spearheaded by Konstantinos Mitsotakis in 1990, with his decision to recognize de jure the State of Israel, was fostered and developed by the governments of the two countries in the fields of economy, security, health and education, energy, culture and tourism.

Athens and Jerusalem, two capitals, two cities with a historic heritage that has defined the nature of humanism and democracy, have joined forces and keep making common efforts to safeguard stability and peaceful coexistence amongst all the people in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Greeks and Israelis professed solidarity on the field and proved the very meaning of solidarity by saving lives, by saving the natural resources of their countries. Greek and Israeli firefighters did it selflessly and with self-sacrifice during wildfires; Israeli rescuers did it during the catastrophic earthquake of Athens.

The Israelis sing Greek songs and listen Greek music, the Greeks welcome the Israeli tourists with the traditional Greek hospitality. This is the image of the two people forging their relations…

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece congratulates Greece and Israel for their strong will to further enhance their bonds of friendship and encourages every effort that brings closer the people of the two countries.

Athens, May 21st, 2020

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
GREEK AND ISRAELI PRESIDENTS ON 30th ANNIVERSARY OF FULL DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
The presidents of Greece and Israel celebrate the 30th anniversary of the start of full diplomatic relations on Thursday by confirming the continuity of friendship and business association of the two countries.

In a joint statement, Greece's Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Israel's Reuven Rivlin said they jointly celebrate "the past, present and future of our bilateral relations" and noted the particular sectors of collaboration between the two countries - economy, energy, tourism, defense, technology and culture, among others.

They also made particular mention of Greece and Israel's tripartite collaboration with the Cyprus Republic, and the more active participation of the United States, in promoting jointly regional security, stability and growth.

 
RACIST VIOLENCE REPORT FOR 2018 - The antisemitic attacks Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 07:25

Athens, 19.4.2019- The Racist Violence Recording Network (RVRN) presented yesterday April 18, 2019,  their annual report, which analyses findings of racist violence and hate crime across Greece in 2018, recorded by the 46 organizations participating in the Network. From January to December 2018, the RVRN documented, through interviews with victims, 117 incidents of racist violence, with more than 130 victimsIn 74 incidents the victims were migrants or refugees on grounds of ethnic origin, religion, colour, associations of third country nationals, human rights defenders due to their connection with refugees and migrants, as well as a memorial to the victims of shipwrecks. In six (6) incidents, Greek citizens were targeted due to their colour, foreign or ethnic origin. In nine (9) incidents, the targets were Jewish sacred or symbolic places and the Jewish community and in one (1) incident the target was a Greek citizen due to educational activity against anti-Semitism or perceived religion. In 27 incidents the targets were LGBTQI+ persons, including five (5) refugees, asylum-seekers and EU citizens. In 59 incidents more than one victim was targeted, whereas in 63 incidents the assault was committed by a group of at least two people. 

For more information see here the site of the RVRN. See here the full report in pdf.

Excerpt from the report (p. 19) on antisemitism: In 2018, the RVRN recorded 9 anti-Semitic attacks. In particular, there were 6 incidents of desecration of Holocaust memorials in Athens and Thessaloniki, 2 incidents of desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Nikaia and Trikala as well as 1 incident of vandalism of the synagogue in Volos. In these incidents the perpetrators drew Nazi symbols or words and slogans referring to the Holocaust, threatening the Jewish community as a whole. Additionally, there was an incident against a teacher, who is being harassed severely due to his educational activity against anti-Semitism.

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THE ATHENS JEWISH COMMUNITY CELEBRATED PESSACH AT THE GREEK EDUCATION MINISTRY IN ATHENS Print E-mail
Monday, 22 April 2019 11:02

On the occasion of the Jewish festivity of Passover, the Jewish Community of Athens organized, the traditional Seder of Pessach, on Saturday April 20, 2019, at the events’ hall of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. 

The leadership of the Ministry that kindly offered the venue, was represented by the Minister of Education Mr. Kostas Gavroglou and the Secretary General for Religious Affairs Mr. George Kalantzis. The Seder was also attended by Archimandrite Dionysios, representative of the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos. Approximately 350 members of the Athens Jewish Community, under the guidance of the Rabbi of Athens Gabriel Negrin, read and recited the Haggadah, the narration of the Exodus from Egypt, which is linked to the festivity of Pessach. 

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“Never Again’ March in Thessaloniki marked anniversary of first deportation to Auschwitz Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 March 2019 10:19

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.”

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THE SPECIAL ENVOY ON COMBATTING ANTI-SEMITISM TO THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 April 2019 09:26
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. 
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CYPRUS, GREECE, ISRAEL ALLIANCE SERVES US INTERESTS Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 08:42
by endy Zemenides  & David Harris, 28.3.2019

Long ago, the Mediterranean was known as the Middle Sea, because for centuries it provided the principal means of communication between empires and civilizations. Today’s Mediterranean is reclaiming much of that historic legacy.

The limitless potential of the region was on full display during the sixth trilateral summit between Cyprus, Greece and Israel that took place in Jerusalem last week. The gathering was especially noteworthy because the United States, represented by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, also participated for the first time.

American strategic interests face challenges around the Eastern Mediterranean basin. The Shia-Sunni divide that has helped put the Middle East in even deeper turmoil is playing out on its shores, with the involvement of both state and non-state actors.

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