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GREECE
ARTICLE FOR THE SUMMER CAMP OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF THESSALONIKI Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 10:30
By DAVID BREAKSTONE*

August 28 might have been the end. It might not have been noted on your calendar last week, but this summer I discovered that the date is etched deep into the consciousness of Greek Jewry. That was the day in 1943 on which the final remnants of the more than 53,000 Jews living in Thessaloniki (Salonika) on the eve of World War II were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The vast majority died even before reaching the camp. Most of the rest were gassed upon arrival. The fate of the additional 27,000 Greek Jews, dispersed among 30 locales, was hardly any better. Some 87% of the total of 80,000 were slaughtered during in the Holocaust.

Against all odds, however, this wasn’t to be the final chapter of this proud and resilient community, one of the oldest in the annals of Jewish history. I know because I experienced what the survivors willed to be otherwise, in a camp of a very different nature than that in which so many were eradicated.

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EDUCATION MINISTER NIKI KERAMEUS MET WITH GREEK JEWISH LEADERSHIP Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 August 2019 07:41
Education Minister Niki Kerameus met Tuesday August 27, 2019, with members of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) to discuss issues affecting the Greek-Jewish community. Kerameus said tackling anti-semitism improves the quality of democracy and added that one of the purposes of the educational system should be to establish mutual respect. 

Source: e-Kathimerini, Aug. 27, 2019

 
GIVE GREECE’S NEW LEADER A CHANCE Print E-mail
Friday, 16 August 2019 10:22
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the right-of-center Greek prime minister in office for four weeks after decisively winning a national election, deserves the opportunity to govern before being judged. Mr. Tsimitakis, a supporter of Mr. Mitsotakis’s political rival, former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, did not give him that opportunity. 

The Mitsotakis administration faces daunting challenges, including attracting foreign investment, reducing unemployment and grappling with difficult regional issues. These matters cannot be solved instantaneously. All have plagued previous governments.

Moreover, Mr. Tsimitakis levels a disingenuous charge of nepotism against Mr. Mitsotakis. His nephew Kostas Bakoyannis was elected mayor of Athens by the city’s residents a month before Mr. Mitsotakis’s electoral victory. Also, Mr. Tsimitakis refers to the Holocaust-denying past of Makis Voridis, the minister of agriculture, but doesn’t note that he apologized twice to the Jewish community and that a page has been turned.

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MAKIS VORIDIS VISITED THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF GREECE AND STRESSED THE PRIORITY OF FIGHTING ANTISEMITISM Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 July 2019 07:57

Rural Development and Foods Minister Makis Voridis paid a visit to the Jewish Museum of Greece on Monday, where he was given a tour by the museum director Zanet Battinou. In statements afterward, he once again expressed his opposition to all forms of hate speech and said that the fight against the "noxious phenomenon of antisemitism" was a priority, while encouraging people to visit the museum, which he described as "excellent".

Voridis was the first minister in the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis to visit the museum, where he was greeted as a "friend of the Jewish people and the Jewish community in Greece" by the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) Viktor Eliezer.

The minister said his presence signaled the support of the Greek state in highlighting the history and long presence of the Greek Jews in the country since ancient times.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE STATEMENT OF MAKIS VORIDIS Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 12:02

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece takes into consideration and values the explanations given by Mr. Voridis, hoping that he will prove the honesty of his statement with concrete initiatives, following the example of other politicians who did not hesitate to express their regret for the views they embraced in the past.

We hope that Mr. Voridis will steadfastly and emphatically support the fight against intolerance, racism and antisemitism, which has anyway always constituted a key issue of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ policy.

Athens, July 16, 2019
Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
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