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Next to the "Fence" by Victor Is. Eliezer*, a conversation with Danny Tirza, Commander of the unit that built the "Fence" which separates Israel from the Palestinian Authority territories Print E-mail
Monday, 17 December 2018 11:51
From the neighborhood of Gilo, built on a hill, one of the first districts the Israelis have built in Eastern Jerusalem after the six day war in 1967, one can easily spot the imposing church of Saint Nicholas, just some meters away from the refugee camps of Beit Jalla and El Aydah, which seem to have been built like real cities. Just there, together with 25 journalists from Europe, North and South America we met Danny Tirza, a retired Israeli Army colonel, who was the Commander of the unit that built the "Fence" which separates Israel from the Palestinian Authority territories.

The way to the "Fence"

Colonel Tirza has served in the army for thirty years and was part of the negotiations with the Palestinians for the transformation of the refugee camps into dwellings. Consequently, in the aftermath of Oslo Accords, he participated in the technical negotiations during the Camp David summit, in summer 2000, convened by Bill Clinton for the signature of the final agreement between Israeli PM Ehud Barak and the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

It was there when I met Yasser Arafat at first. He came to embrace me, as he usually did: “No kissing, but working together”, I told him and we started to chart maps. Ever since the Palestinians called me by a nickname, "Abu Harita" which means "the father of the maps", colonel Tirza assured. He described how these negotiations were blown to pieces: "We had concluded with the mapping. Barak conceded to Arafat 94% of the lands on the West bank, on the Jordan river, the whole of Gaza strip and gave him sovereignty on the Holly Mosques of Jerusalem. That was to say the totality of the lands Israel occupied during the 1967 war and were previously ruled by Jordan and Egypt. Clinton asked Arafat to sign. Arafat left for consultations and came back three hours later declaring that he could not sign without the approval of the other Arab states. Clinton blasted him and the big chance for peace was lost. In September 2000, everything changed as the intifada started". 

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GREEK MINISTER NIKOS PAPPAS PRESENTS BOOK ON GREEK HOLOCAUST IN YAD VASHEM Print E-mail
Friday, 21 December 2018 13:50

The book presentation of the album “Auschwitz – Greeks,  Number Condemned to Death” by George Pilichos, (ed. Hellenic Post, 2018) was held in Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, on December 19, 2018, in the presence of the Greek Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media Nikos Pappas and the Chairman of Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev who addressed the highly attended event. The author, history researcher George Pilichos, the First Vice President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece Benjamin Albalas, as well as Moshe Ha-Elion, Holocaust survivor of Greek origins and member of the Board of Yad Vashem, attended the event.

Minister Pappas introduced the book by saying: “Today I humbly deliver to you the Greek part of the Holocaust history, a book that presents the history of the extermination of the Greek citizens, Jewish in their overwhelming majority, in the concentration camps” and concluded with the “obligation of the society not to forget in order not to built up a crooked future”.

The book “Auschwitz – Greeks,  Number Condemned to Death”, an exhaustive and well documented research on the Holocaust of the Greek Jews, was previously presented in Athens, on May 16, 2018, by the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos, along with the presentation of a commemorative set of stamps, also issued by the Hellenic Post, dedicated to the Holocaust of the Greek Jews.

 
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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MAKIS VORIDS’ STATEMENT REJECTING NEO-NAZISM AND ANTISEMITISM Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 09:33
"I have never been anti-Semitic," Rural Development and Foods Minister Makis Voridis said on Saturday July 13, 2019, though admitting that he had for many years been a member of nationalist political parties and organisations and had "coexisted politically with people that had such unacceptable ideas."

"To resolve any doubts, therefore, I denounce all action, omission or tolerance on my part to the act of a third party that might be interpreted as anti-Semitic or neo-nazi," he added.

Voridis was responding to the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Victor Eliezer, who he said had "called on me to publicly denounce by anti-Semitic past" in a radio interview.

"I also wish to notify Mr. Eliezer of the following, hoping to assuage the concerns he expressed:
1. As a member of the parliamentary assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in consultation with my colleagues in the Knesset, I have for three successive years proposed the rejection of the Palestinian Authority's request to become a member of the parliamentary assembly and unremittingly and systematically supported the condemnation of anti-Semitism. My Israeli colleagues know this.

2. I have spoken in parliament against the so-called antiracist law, recognising as its only positive point the penalisation of denial of the Holocaust.

3. I am the only Greek politician that has written articles in support of transferring the Greek Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

4. I am the only Greek politician that has supported the signing of a defence and not just a strategic alliance with Israel.

5. I am the only Greek politician that has adopted a position against Israel's condemnation for the incidents in Gaza.

In light of these, I hope that his concerns have been alleviated," Voridis said.

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METROPOLITAN IGNATIUS SPEECH ON HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 October 2015 12:06

During the Holocaust Rememberance Day held in Larissa on the 27th of January 2015 the Metropolitan Ignatius of Demetrias made the following address:

I would like to begin by expressing my deep gratitude to the Jewish Community of Larissa, for inviting me to be the keynote speaker at this year's memorial event for the Greek Jewish martyrs and heroes of the Holocaust. Although approximately 70 years have passed since the tragic events of the Jewish genocide at the hands of the Nazi regime of the Third Reich, the memories remain—and must remain—particularly fresh and vivid. The deep human solidarity with the Jewish people and its millions of victims helps toward this end, but unfortunately, this solidarity coexists with an ever-increasing anti-Semitism that has been festering across Europe, including here in Greece, a country affected like few others by the Nazi atrocities. In my talk today, I would like to offer a few thoughts, primarily from my perspective as an Orthodox bishop of the Church of Greece. I will highlight some basic theological criteria for approaching the issue, while also offering the historical experience of our humble Diocese of Demetrias, which I have been blessed to serve for many years now, and which, as we all know, played an important role throughout the period of occupation in protecting our fellow Jewish citizens.

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