INTERVIEW OF VIKTOR ELIEZER, KISE GENERAL SECRETARY, CONCERNING THE VANDALISM OF THE JEWISH CEMETERY OF ATHENS Print
Friday, 09 October 2020 11:18

On Wednesday 7th October 2020, Viktor Eliezer, General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, conducted an interview at the newspaper "KATHIMERINI" and Mrs. Margarita Pournara, concerning the vandalism of the Jewish cemetery of Athens.

Victor Eliezer: Antisemitism begins against the Jews, but it does not stop there

The vandalism of the Jewish cemetery of Athens, with the hideous neo-Nazi graffiti is to be added to a chain of corresponding acts throughout the territory:  from Chania and Kavala up to Larisa and Rhodes, recently we see Greek Jewish monuments, synagogues and cemeteries becoming a target of extremists. In anticipation for today's verdict concerning the Golden Dawn case, it is quite natural one to wonder if actions like these have anything to do with the trial. Mostly, one wonders where does all this hatred leads, which every now and then becomes apparent.

"If one was to ask me whether or not Greece is an antisemitic country, I would reply with certainty, no. The Greek Jews, especially from the post-colonial period and onwards, live in a regime of equality, freedom and parity", says at the column the journalist and the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece Mr. Victor Isaak Eliezer (photo). "But if the question concerns the presence of anti-Semitic cases in the country, the answer is different. Luckily, up until today, hatred speech has not threatened human life, as we see happening in other European countries. Let me remind you, the recent attack at the synagogue of Hamburg, which was condemned by chancellor Merkel. Antisemitism begins against the Jews, but it does not stop with them. It concerns, then, the whole society, which wants to protect the values of freedom and democracy". 

"In Greece we are dealing with an organized neo-Nazi ideology like Golden Dawn was, where its followers vandalize monuments, who may have contacts with members of para-ecclesiastical circles who have the same ideas. The positive is, that the Greek Orthodox Church has officially disapproved these acts. Alongside, we see that from 2010 and onwards, a year which for the first time a Greek Prime Minister was elected, Mr. George Papandreou, openly talks about antisemitism, there is a raising awareness of political institutions as well as an effort in the field of secondary education to teach the Holocaust", Victor Eliezer continues. Only education, together with the institutional shielding and self-strengthening of the legal framework – let us be clear in this one – can limit such phenomena, either these are the spread of hatred or the denial of the Holocaust. The European Union has begun to realize the danger extreme ideas and intolerance have, which can threaten the European ideals. But the weight falls upon the shoulders of all citizens, in Greece and in other countries".

Source: Newspaper KATHIMERINI, 7.10.2020