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KIS - English Version
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:09

NEW YORK - Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Tuesday strongly decried moves to delegitimize the State of Israel and called comparison of Israel to Nazism as “an ex post attempt to acquit those who committed the crime of the Holocaust”.  Kotzias was speaking at a reception in his honor hosted by World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 


In a warm welcome of Kotzias, Lauder thanked the minister for his strong support of Israel and personal fight against anti-Semitism in Greece. “Minister Kotzias represents the amazing changes in the improved relations between Israel and Greece over the past two years,” Lauder said.

“As a member of UNESCO’s Executive Board, Greece voted against that outrageous decision that denied any Jewish connection to Jerusalem. That’s like saying the Acropolis isn’t Greek,” Lauder added. “The Greek government has strongly opposed calls for Israel’s destruction, the denial of the Holocaust and all forms of anti-Semitism.  In Greece, Foreign Minister Kotzias has personally fought against the Golden Dawn Party and its anti-Semitic views. He has been a champion of the Greek Jewish community.”

Kotzias spoke strongly against the “hypocrisy and double speak” of Western criticism of Israel. “Each of us needs to respond to a fundamental question: do the Jews have a right to live in a secure, democratic state? The answer is simple, and one word: Yes, they do,” Kotzias said. “Moreover, the rest of us have the obligation to defend this right.”

Monday, 21 August 2017 10:10

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece sent the following letter to the Counselor Minister of the Embassy of Spain to Greece Mr. Javier Triana Jimenez, regarding the terrorist attack in Barcelona:

“Dear Minister,


On behalf of the Greek Jewry we would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the Spanish people for the deadly terror attack that hit the popular tourist area of Las Ramblas in Barcelona. The words are very poor to describe the magnitude of evil, the hatred and the horror of such brutality.

The choice of such a crowded tourist area and the tragic result of the attack, 13 people dead until now and dozens of others injured, shows that the perpetrators wanted to struck the core values of Humanism and Democracy, all principles we stand for and have struggled for.

Joining the whole world, we express our most heartfelt sorrow and condolences to the families of the victims, wishing to all those injured to have a speedy and full recovery. 

On behalf of the Greek Jewry, we kindly ask you to convey this message to the Spanish Government and remain”.

Athens, August 18, 2017


Friday, 04 August 2017 10:40

Antisemitism in Greece today: Aspects, causes and tackling the phenomenon – Research by Giorgos Antoniou, Spyros Kosmidis, Elias Dinas, Leon Saltiel, published by the Heinrich-Böll Foundation Greece, Thessaloniki 2017.


Anti-Semitism is one of the most common manifestations of social prejudice in Europe and elsewhere. Greece is not an exception to this rule; in fact, Greece, according to the 2015/2017 Anti-Defamation League Global Survey has the highest proportion of people who harbour anti-Semitic sentiments in Europe. The study at hand was commissioned by Heinrich Boell Stiftung Greece to report the main findings of an original analysis of Greek public opinion that aimed to delve deeper into the causes of the phenomenon. The report was divided into three themes; 1) discussing the socio-political framework of anti-Semitism in modern Greece, 2) the full presentation of the empirical work conducted using public opinion surveys and 3) a set of policy recommendations to tackle the phenomenon. The executive summary at hand will briefly present the main aspects of each of the three themes.

Monday, 21 August 2017 09:25

WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS, 17.8.2017:  World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder has condemned the attack in Barcelona which claimed the lives of a reported 13 people on Thursday, after a van drove into pedestrians in the crowded Las Ramblas district. The circumstances of the events were still unfolding, and the Spanish authorities were investigating the incident as a terrorist attack.

“The World Jewish Congress harshly condemns this heinous act of violence and carnage, and is carefully monitoring this situation with concern. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this attack and their families, and with all the people of Barcelona. “We are monitoring the events as they unfold with care and concern, and are in touch with the local Jewish community and its security groups. We pray that there will be no more victims”.

EUROPEAN JEWISH CONGRESS, 18.8.2017: The European Jewish Congress (EJC) strongly condemns the terror attack in Barcelona today after a van crashed on to a pavement in a popular tourist area of the city killing at least 13 people and injuring dozens of others.

“We are yet again witness to another terrorist attack in Europe perpetrated against innocent civilians,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, said. “They are choosing to strike again at our zest for life and our basic freedoms with their cult of death. It is becoming increasingly difficult to prevent this abuse of regular vehicles as their chosen instrument of murder.” “We stand with the Spanish people and urge the authorities to bring to justice those who perpetrated this savage attack, including those who inspired it and those whose incitement encouraged it.” “The European Jewish Congress and the Jewish communities of Europe extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy and full recovery to those injured”.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 15:03

In the evening of Monday July 17, 2017, an individual dressed as a monk who calls himself ‘father Kleomenis’ -a cult figure, popular for his bigot ideas and You tube posts- attacked and vandalized the Holocaust Monument in Larissa, situated in the central Jewish Martyrs Square of the city. In his video posted on You Tube, the alleged monk curses the Jews, denies the Holocaust and calls on the local patriots of Larissa to intervene and demolish the Monument. "Father" Kleomenis spits, kicks and throws eggs at the Monument. Some of his characteristic quotes: “Here, we read 6 million! Fairy tails… Shit on their faces, merely 600.000 Hitler wiped out!”. Kleomenis spits the Monument and says: “Satanic Jews”. He kicks the Monument and says: “Curse on your dirty Monuments” and continues: “Worms, Jewish bitches, this has to fall. The stinking Jewishness has to be taken down from Larissa. Rise up! Patriotic organizations of Larissa take it down, bring the bulldozer on!”Local police was notified and legal procedure was enacted. Investigation is ongoing. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) and the Jewish Community of Larissa issued press releases. The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church issued an announcement disassociating itself from the "monk" and condemning his actions.

The Municipality of Larissa issued an Announcement condemning the attack. The General Secretary of Religious Affairs George Kalantzis, as well as the General Secretary for Transparency and Human Rights Maria Giannakaki reacted swiftly by providing the Public Prosecutor of Larissa, the Racist Crimes Department of the Police, and the Cyber Crime Police Department with the relevant evidence. The President of the Jewish Community of Larissa pressed charges against the perpetrator. The Greek Helsinki Monitor also pressed charges against the “so called ‘father Kleomenis’ for a series of racist crimes”.

* The Announcement of KIS:

Shame and outrage are the feelings that one feels when realizes what happened in Larissa on Monday July 17, 2017: The shameful and upsetting incident of the desecration of the Holocaust Monument of Larissa –the first Holocaust Monument erected in Greece in 1987, in the memory of the Greek Jews deported and exterminated in the Nazi death camps. This highly significant Monument was vulgarly vandalized, with offensive expressions and brutal actions, by a robed clergyman who apparently has no affiliation to the Greek Orthodox Church.  On the same day leaflets of relevant anti-Semitic content were strewn across the Monument and the Square of Jewish Martyrs of Larissa. The case is being handled by the Police and the justice system. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece asked the competent  Authorities to arrest the perpetrator and bring him to justice.

In addition KIS expresses the Greek Jewry’s belief that the society of Larissa and all local institutions will firmly condemn the incident, will isolate the perpetrators and will treat with respect the Holocaust Monument of Larissa and the Jewish Community which is an integral part of the city, that they will ultimately respect the city’s very cultural heritage and civilization, as the people of Larissa have always done in the course of history.

Athens July 18, 2017

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece


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