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ANTI-SEMITISM
 

SPEECH OF THE SPECIAL SECRETARY FOR RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL DIPLOMACY AND HEAD OF THE GREEK DELEGATION TO THE IHRA, DR EFSTATHIOS LIANOS LIANTIS, AT THE CONFERENCE ON COMBATING ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE OSCE REGION (BRATISLAVA, 5-6 FEBRUARY 2019) Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 February 2019 10:30

“Those of us who have been involved in studying the phenomenon of anti-Semitism, we witness that not only does such social virus keep spreading and contaminating more and more people regardless of social status and age group, but is unfailingly transmuting into milder or more aggressive forms, depending on the social environment, the education level, the national, political or religious groups where the phenomenon grows. Yet, it is fed by sources of misinformation and propaganda, which may be either cognate or contrary to each other, such as political extremes and religious fundamentalism, be it Islamic or Christian.

As a political stand, a religious perception or an ideological trend, anti-Semitism is a major social issue, plaguing Europe for a number of centuries and calling into question the moral status of the Western Civilization. The irrationality of this phenomenon can be easily perceived if we consider the doubts cast on the Holocaust, the most vividly documented and thoroughly recorded massive crime in human history. The anti-Semites who endorse any freakish pamphleteering of conspiracy theorists, either reject or doubt the Holocaust, which has been actually recorded by its ruthless perpetrators themselves.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE VANDAL ATTACK AGAINST THE JEWISH MONUMENT IN THE CAMPUS OF THE ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY IN THESSALONIKI Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 January 2019 16:14
On January 27, humanity commemorates the Holocaust of the 6 million Jews who were exterminated in the German concentration camps by the Nazis and their collaborators.

On January 25, 2019, the descendants of the collaborators of the Nazis smashed and destroyed the Jewish Monument in the campus of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in the Observatory Park, in Thessaloniki. They have no moral scruples. They respect neither the living nor the dead.

The University was built upon the shattered tombs and the scattered bones of our forefathers of Thessaloniki, while the Jews of Thessaloniki where confined into ghettos pending deportation. It took 72 years for the city to assume responsibility and pay tribute to the memory of the Jewish necropolis with the erection of this monument in 2014. Today, the memory of the Jews of Thessaloniki, along with the history and the culture of the city, are struck once more by the preachers of hatred.

The Nazis began by burning our books at first, then our Synagogues and our Monuments, then our homes and stores and then… then –with the collaboration of their allies- they burnt our relatives, our friends, our neighbors, they even burnt our dead.

Until when? Until when will the authorities remain bystanders of the vandalisms of memory and civilization? Until when should society tolerate the supporters of Nazism operating freely among us, hurting our human dignity?

Thus, we demand their arrest so that they can be brought to Justice, so that they do not continue their catastrophic work, so that we do not mourn human victims in the name of bigotry and antisemitism.

Sadly, we have to repeat that there remain no other words to describe the sorrow of the Greek Jews: Shame – Shame – Shame.

Excerpt from the inscription on the Monument:

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FIRST BILATERAL MEETING BETWEEN GREECE AND ISRAEL ON ANTISEMITISM Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 December 2018 08:48
 Israel and Greece join forces in combating Racism, Xenophobia and anti-Semitism

The first bilateral dialogue between Israel and Greece on combating racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism was held in Athens on Wednesday, December 19th, 2018. Participants included high-ranking government, judicial and law enforcement officials from both countries as well as a human rights group specializing in combating anti-Semitism and racist hate crimes.

The dialogue was organized by the General Secretariat for Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights of the Hellenic Republic in collaboration with the Embassy of Israel.  Ms. Maria Giannakaki, the Secretary General for Human Rights, opened the proceedings.

Discussions between the Israeli and Greek experts focused on ways to combat racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism in the social media and the internet, the criminal investigation of hate crimes, the training of prosecutors and judges in detecting and prosecuting racist hate crimes, law enforcement procedures in tackling anti-Semitism as well as analyzing ways to combat anti-Semitic incidents in Greece.

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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE NEW DESECRATION OF THE HOLOCAUST MONUMENT IN THESSALONIKI Print E-mail
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
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PITTSBURGH 27.10.2018: A BIGOTRY THAT CAUSED BLOODSHED Print E-mail
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. huffingtonpost.gr 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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