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GREECE
THE SURPRISING DYNAMIC OF GREEK-ISRAELI TIES Print E-mail
Friday, 22 May 2020 12:42
DORA BAKOYANNIS & RAM AVIRAM

During 2019, in the good old pre-coronavirus times, more than 700,000 Israelis visited Greece. They were dining in tavernas in the Peloponnese, walking in Vikos, singing along in one of Athens’ bouzouki clubs, buying summer homes on Crete and Lefkada, or visiting Greek industrial partners. Greek and Israeli military forces were holding joint exercises. All that in the friendliest atmosphere. Neither the Israelis nor their Greek hosts realized that this phenomenon of real brotherhood was something that could not always be taken for granted. 

On May 21, 1990, Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis recognized the State of Israel de jure, finally establishing full diplomatic relations between Israel and Greece. In fact, it was during his election campaign that Mitsotakis declared that his first act as prime minister would be the signing of the recognition of the State of Israel, which he later did. Through this act, he symbolically put an end to almost four decades of “lost time” in ties between the two old nations.

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FOREIGN MINISTER HAILS 30 YEARS OF GREEK-ISRAELI DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS Print E-mail
Friday, 22 May 2020 11:51
Greece and Israel have achieved “much more than we perhaps would have expected ourselves” in the 30 years of diplomatic relations, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in a statement issued on Thursday to mark the occasion.

“It is a small miracle. Today, what unite us are so many things, that I am convinced this relationship of friendship and cooperation will move forward with leaps and bounds in the near and distant future,” he said.

“Through this multifaceted relationship, we also set the example that cooperation is the only way to security, stability and prosperity in our region.”

Bilateral cooperation extends to science, culture, trade, innovation, energy, tourism, security and defense, and continues to grow in new fields, he said, adding that Athens remains firmly committed to strengthening relations between the European Union and Israel.

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KIS OPEN LETTER TO THE JEWS OF GREECE ON COVID-19 Print E-mail
Monday, 30 March 2020 09:19
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Mankind experiences one of its most difficult periods after World War II, with thousands of dead, victims of the covid-19 coronavirus, and with millions of people confined at home in order to conform with precautionary measures imposed by the scientific community.

“Pikouach Nefesh”, the “control, the saving of life” is prioritized by Judaism as the highest value prevailing over all other commandments. This is why the Chief Rabbi of Israel issued an interpretive announcement stating that the protection and precaution guidelines of the Health Ministry must be implemented in full by all people because they serve the very meaning of the phrase “Pikouach Nefesh”.

We at the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), since day one that the virus struck our country, on the 27th of February 2020, we decided to close the Synagogues in Veria, Hania and Rhodes and issued a relevant circular advising all Greek Jewish Communities to close the Synagogues and the Cultural Centers. KIS, as well as the Jewish Communities revoked all social and cultural activities scheduled for March and April.

At the same time, with the support of KIS administration, we are in close contact with the Jewish Communities and the international Jewish Organizations in order to face this aggressive virus and the harsh consequences that might threat the well-being of the vulnerable groups of our Community.

Pessach approaches… We are sure that our Communities have made arrangements for the safe distribution of the Matzot and the Kiddush wines. Our people knew how to celebrate the festivity of Pessach even in the most inclement circumstances. The safety and health of all our coreligionists and the strict implementation of the directives of the Health Ministry should be our focus for this year’s seder. Because the value of life, Pikouach Nefesh, prevails.

Our thoughts are with all our coreligionists that are part of vulnerable social groups. Let’s give our assistance, let’s offer some moments of company either over the phone or in the social media, to our grandparents, to our parents, to our fellow-citizens that live alone, and let’s hope that at the end of this adventure we will all come back together, reunited, healthy and strong.

We “stay at home” so that we stay well. Be always well.

Athens, March 17, 2020

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

The President David Saltiel

The Secretary General Victor Eliezer

 
KIS PRESIDENT DAVID SALTIEL AWARDED WITH THE MEDAL OF THE GRAND COMMANDER OF THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 February 2020 12:44

In a sober ceremony, full of symbolism, held at the Presidential Palace on the 28th of February 2020, the President of the Hellenic Republic Professor Prokopios Pavlopoulos awarded the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Mr. David Saltiel, with the medal of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Phoenix, one of the highest distinctions of the Hellenic Republic, “in recognition of all the work he realized”.

This prestigious medal is bestowed to personalities, Greek citizens or foreigners, who have helped raise Greece’s prestige internationally and have excelled in their field of practice or in public life.  In David Saltiel’s case, this outstanding honour reflects the Greek Jewry, its rich history and its  manifold activities.

Welcoming the President of the Central Board of the Jewish Communities in Greece among the personalities honoured with that distinction, President Pavlopoulos mentioned the rich work realized by Mr. Saltiel and his dynamic personality. Then the President handed him the medal together with the Presidential Decree.

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THE GREEK JEWRY WELCOMES THE SIGNING OF THE EAST MED AGREEMENT Print E-mail
Friday, 03 January 2020 14:31
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece welcomes the landmark intergovernmental agreement among Greece, Cyprus and Israel for the East Med natural gas pipeline, an agreement of historic importance which was signed in Athens on January 2nd, 2020.                         

We repeat our belief that East Med pipeline will even further stabilize and develop the productive cooperation among Greece, Cyprus and Israel, it will boost the prosperity and progress of the people in the region, while it will also work as a bridge of peace between the Middle East and Europe.

 Athens, January 3rd, 2020

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

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