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DESECRATION OF THE ATHENS HOLOCAUST MONUMENT FOR THE SECOND TIME IN 2014
On October 30, 2014, the Holocaust Monument in Athens was vandalized with graffiti signed by the extreme nationalist and anti-Semitic organization  “Unaligned Meander Nationalists” (Greek abbreviation: AME). This organization –which declares to be a hardcore radical and nationalist organization and separates itself from “moderate nationalists” of Golden Dawn- has also signed the desecration of the Holocaust Monument in the island of Rhodes in October 2012.
The Athens Jewish Community and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued the following Press Release:

The Holocaust Monument in Athens has been vandalized for the second time within 2014. In the night of October 30, 2014, a known neo-nazi organization, with significant activity in Greece, left its signature on the Monument.
The Athens Holocaust Monument is dedicated to the memory of the 60.000 Greek Jews, part of the 6.000.000 of European Jews, who suffered a tragic death in the Nazi concentration camps.

The Athens Jewish Community, that covered the cost of the erection of the Monument, donated it -in 2010- to the municipality of Athens, in order to make it a landmark in the capital city and a reminder to its citizens and visitors of the most heinous mass crime in contemporary history.

The Jewish Community of Athens, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, and the Greek Jewry at large strongly condemn this act of vandalism. We call upon the municipal and state authorities to effectively protect the Holocaust Monument of the capital, in order to avoid repetition of such phenomena. We also call upon the Justice system to put into motion all necessary procedures so that the perpetrators –those whose hateful and violent actions offend the dignity and the cultural heritage of the city- be apprehend and punished.

We also expect the representatives of the State and the Civil Society to come forward and express a strong and determined condemnation of this specific act as well as of every and any act of anti-Semitism.
 
The JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ATHENS
The CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE 

 
ANTISEMITIC SLUR IN THE GREEK PARLIAMENT OVER THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES BILL
Antisemitic references were made by Golden Dawn MP Michail Arvanitis, in the Greek Parliament, during the session of Sept. 30, 2014, during which the Parliament passed in principle the draft Bill on “The organisation of the legal status of religious communities and their associations in Greece.”
MP Arvanitis referred to the propagandistic slander that the Greek Jews do not pay taxes, which he admitted to be false, only to rephrase and point out that the Greek Jews through their contributions to their Jewish communities send the Jewish money into the Jewish banks while the State spends money for them. He also put our Board’s legal status into doubt. MP Arvanitis was debated MP Adonis Georgiadis (parliamentary representative of the Governing party of Nea Dimokratia), who stressed the falsity of Arvanitis’ statements.

It is to be noted that the new Bill, which was voted by article on Oct.1st, does not either apply to or influence the legal status of our Board and the Greek Jewish Communities, which are legal entities under state law.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued the following announcement (October 7.2014):

“The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the Greek Jewry’s repudiation for the unfounded accusations launched in the Hellenic Parliament by an MP of the neonazi party against the Greek citizens of Jewish religion, during the discussion of the draft bill on the religious communities. Such slur is not worthy of any further comment … As the ancient Greeks said, let’s deliver the impropriety in contempt”.
 
World Jewish Congress meeting in Berlin concludes with moving tribute to Holocaust victims
BERLIN – The World Jewish Congress (WJC) Governing Board meeting in Germany concluded on Tuesday with the 150 participants paying their respects to the victims of the Holocaust at three key memorial sites in Berlin. In resolutions, theWJC called on Germany to uphold a ban on the printing and sale of Hitler’s book ‘Mein Kampf’ and urged Europe to step up the fight against anti-Semitism. On Sunday the delegates and guests also took part in a rally organized by the Central Council of Jews in Germany at the Brandenburg Gate, where Chancellor Angela Merkel, Central Council President Dieter Graumann and WJC President Ronald S. Lauder were among the keynote speakers.

At the Gleis 17 memorial at Grunewald train station, from where the trains bringing Berlin Jews to the Nazi death camps departed during World War II, WJC Holocaust Memory Commissioner Charlotte Knobloch, 81, (photo) was moved to tears as she recalled her own experience during World War II and said: “We will not forget. Not us. The legacy of these six million people is our task, it is our obligation to fight for these people, for their remembrance, and for our rights here and now.”
Read more...
 
GERMAN CHANCELLOR MERKEL AND WJC PESIDENT LAUDER ADDRESS RALLY AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM IN BERLIN Print E-mail
Monday, 15 September 2014 11:34
Judaism is an integral part of Germany's identity, Chancellor Angela Merkel told thousands at a rally against anti-Semitism near Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Sunday. "Jewish life belongs among us. It is a part of our identity," Merkel said, adding that the anti-Semitic abuse earlier this year had been appalling. The rally was organized amid shock in Germany at crude anti-Semitic slogans shouted during summer protests against Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Here is the address by Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress.
For the last 70 years, Jews and Germans have lived together in peace. Jews have prospered as Germany has prospered. Jews have become part of German society again. We are your neighbors and your friends. We all share the same values, we hold the same beliefs.
Read more...
 
ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE VOTING OF THE ANTI-RACISM BILL Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 September 2014 10:33
After a long period of political debate, on September 9, 2014, the Greek Parliament voted for the new antiracism bill, which will replace law 927 into force in Greece since 1979. The bill under the general title “Fight against Xenophobia” conforms with the European Council Framework Decision of 2008 and it stipulates jail terms of up to three years and large fines for those who incite attacks against people based on their race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Similar treatment is foreseen for individuals who publicly deny genocides and other crimes against humanity that are recognised by the Greek Parliament and international courts.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) issued the following announcement:

“The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the Greek Jewry’s satisfaction for the decision of the Greek Parliament to reinforce our country’s antiracism legislation with the new bill which we hope will effectively tackle phenomena of neo-Nazism, intolerance and anti-Semitism in Greece.

Today more than ever we need to safeguard the principles of Democracy and Freedom –in Greece and in Europe alike- against the threat posed by the powers of darkness aiming at repeating the crimes of Nazism and Fascism that have cost the lives of millions of innocent people”. 
Athens, September 10, 2014
Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Related articles:
 
THESSALONIKI MAYOR BOUTARIS SWORN IN WEARING YELLOW STAR OF DAVID Print E-mail
Monday, 01 September 2014 13:47
- KIS addressed a letter to Mayor Boutaris on his symbolic gesture
 
Following the initiative of the re-elected Mayor of Thessaloniki Yiannis Boutaris to attend his swearing in ceremony with the Star of David pinned to his jacket, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece addressed the following letter to Mayor Boutaris:

Dear Mr. Mayor,
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece warmly congratulates you on your highly symbolic initiative to swear in as mayor of Thessaloniki wearing the Star of David with the word ‘Jude’ on it, which reminds of the most dark and sad page in the contemporary history of your city, of our country and of the entire Europe as well.
Yet, beyond remembrance, your gesture sends a strong and clear message to those nostalgic of Nazism and Fascism that under your leadership your city will continue to fight against any phenomena of racism, intolerance and anti-Semitism.
Once again we wish you the best of success in your work.

Sincerely Yours
The President Benjamin Albalas
The Secretary General Victor Isaac Eliezer
 
Read more...
 
WHEN HATRED OUTWEIGHS RESOLVE Print E-mail
Friday, 19 September 2014 07:39

By  Victor Isaak Eliezer*

In the merciless war that Hamas is waging to obliterate Israel, two aims have been achieved.

The first is that it has repelled every possibility of a solution that foresees two countries for the two peoples. No Israeli government, left or right wing, would agree to the creation of a Palestinian state with Hamas at the helm of developments, the reason being that although missiles launched from Gaza pose a threat to the safety of Israeli citizens in southern and central Israel, missiles launched by Palestinians from the cities of Ramallah and Jericho could lead to the country disintegrating amidst violence and would make its citizens hostages without hope of release.

Yet the worst crime that Hamas has committed is against the Palestinian people themselves. It seems that hatred of Israel outweighs every resolve to build an independent Palestinian state next to it.

Read more...
 
WHO WILL STAND UP FOR THE CHRISTIANS? Print E-mail
Friday, 22 August 2014 10:06

The following opinion article authored by World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder was published in the “New York Times” on August 19, 2014

WHY is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference.

The Middle East and parts of central Africa are losing entire Christian communities that have lived in peace for centuries. The terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped and killed hundreds of Christians this year — ravaging the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza, in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, two weeks ago. Half a million Christian Arabs have been driven out of Syria during the three-plus years of civil war there. Christians have been persecuted and killed in countries from Lebanon to Sudan.

Read more...
 
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