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GREEK PARLIAMENT UNVEILS MONUMENT TO LAWMAKERS KILLED IN HOLOCAUST

ATHENS (JTA) — The Greek Parliament has erected a monument to eight Greek Jewish lawmakers who were killed by the Nazis during the Second World War.

The white marble tablet engraved with the eight names was unveiled on Wednesday by Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament Nikos Voutsis.

Six of the parliament members were among the tens of thousands of Greek Jews who were murdered in Auschwitz, while two others were killed fighting with the Greek resistance. Some 60,000 Greek Jews died in the Holocaust, according to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.

Voutsis apologized for the decades-long delay in commemorating the Jewish parliament members.

“For 75 years this has been on the conscience of this house. Seventy-five is too long for us to honor our colleagues who were killed by the Nazis,” Voutsis said at the ceremony, which was attended by representatives of all the Greek political parties except the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn.

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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE RHETORIC OF HATE LAUNCHED BY A RELIGIOUS REPRESENTATIVE IN XANTHI

We were informed by a recent press article of the newspaper “Parapolitica” (March 19, 2016) that Ahmet Mete, a religious figure in Xanthi, during his speech delivered in August 2014, at the village of Glafki, stated inter alia: “Curse against Israel! For these are the ones turned into soap by the Germans. But Hitler was right when he said: now you will be angry with me but one day I will be proved right about the Jews. Now our curse goes upon them, and our prayers upon our brothers”. 

A ministrant of a religious minority, the muslim minority, instead of being a preacher of religious peace, tolerance and reconciliation, becomes a preacher of hatred. It is not his right to do so. Even if he does not feel the moral obligation to teach reconciliation among people, he certainly does not have the right to preach hatred.

It is well known that anti-Semitism –that often reaches the point of praising Nazism and Hitler- flourishes in Islamist regimes. Nevertheless, the religious figure of Xanthi should know that such attitude is not tolerated in Greece. And if he does not know that himself, we–as a society and as a state- should mind letting him know.

On our end, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, will always be in alert against any case of anti-Semitic rhetoric regardless of origins.

Athens, March 28, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
PRESS RELEASE FOR THE ATTACKS IN BRUSSELS - Europe in confrontation with Islamist Terror

Today, the 22nd of March 2016, Europe is once more devastated by the deadly attacks at the Brussels airport and metro station, only four months after the fatal attacks at the heart of Paris that caused the loss of lives of more than 130 innocent people, and as tragic sequence of the hit in Istanbul just three days ago. The circle of bloodshed seems endless.

Present day terrorism has a name and an ideology: It is the extreme political Isalm, the Jihadist Islamist movement. Europe has to rise against this enemy with tenacity and determination. Nevertheless, we must not draw parallels between Islamist murderers and the peaceful Muslims who live and work in Europe.

One of the painful political consequences of Islamist terrorism in Europe is that it encourages the racist and neo-Nazi extreme right. The response to Islamophobia cannot ever be neo-Nazism.

We, the Jewish people, have the tragic historical privilege to understand this better that any other human being. Europe must give a democratic response to the Islamist challenge and safeguard the safety of all its citizens.

Athens, March 22, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 

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AJC DELEGATION VISITS GREECE Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 11:28

March 19, 2016, Athens: A nine-person AJC leadership delegation just concluded a two-day visit to Greece's capital.

The group, led by AJC President Stanley Bergman and CEO David Harris, was joined by leaders of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, a longstanding AJC partner organization, and Andrew Manatos, a prominent leader of the Greek-American community.

The mission included a two-hour dinner conversation with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.

The visit was also highlighted by discussions with Leader of the Opposition and President of New Democracy Kyriakos Mitsotakis; Israeli Ambassador to Greece Irit Ben-Abba; U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission in Athens and Charge d'Affaires Suzanne Lawrence and five of her embassy colleagues; Mayor of Athens Giorgos Kaminis; and former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, a long-time friend of AJC.

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KIS RESENTS MINISTER’S STATEMENT COMPARING IDOMENI REFUGEE CAMP WITH DACHAU Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 08:40

Greek Interior Minister Kouroumplis during his visit of March 18, at the refugees camp in Idomeni, on Greece’s border, stated that the camp seems like a “modern-day Dachau”. 
“I wouldn’t hesitate to say that this is a modern Dachau, a situation that comes as a result of the sealed borders”, Minister Kouroumplis, said in a statement transmitted by TV channels and press.

 The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued the following announcement (March 21, 2016) in protest:  

“The situation of the refugees in Idomeni is an insult to human dignity. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece shares the compassion for their fate and hardships and wishes for a solution to be found the soonest in order to put an end to their sufferings. On the other hand, we do not share the viewpoint of the Greek Interior Minister Panagiotis Kouroumplis, who while visiting the camp in Idomeni, on Friday March 18, 2016, stated:  “I wouldn’t hesitate to say that this is a modern Dachau, a situation that comes as a result of the sealed borders”.

We know that such comparisons and parallels are made too easily in our country, often with no malicious intent. Yet, it is our moral obligation to stress each and every time that the horror of the Nazi extermination camps should not be allowed to be diminished by irrelevant comparisons under any circumstance.

Athens, March 21, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE ONGOING STABBING ATTACKS IN ISRAEL Print E-mail
Friday, 11 March 2016 14:03


Since October 2015, we have been constantly witnessing a new wave of murderous attacks by Palestinians against innocent citizens of Israel.

The most recent attack took place on March 8, 2016 in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Petah Tikva and resulted into the death of one U.S. tourist and the serious injury of 13 Israelis.

This hideous event was not immediately condemned by the Palestinian political organizations, as they ought to, but instead it was praised and welcomed by Hamas.

The condemnation of these murderous attacks by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece is self-evident. However, we would like to add that, as long as such abominable events still occur and are being welcomed by the Palestinian political organizations, the prospect of peace between the two nations is becoming even more distant.  

Athens, March 11th, 2016

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

 
ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE MURDER OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF PAYSANDU IN URUGUAY Print E-mail
Friday, 11 March 2016 14:00

On March 8th, 2016, David Fremd was victim of  a murderous attack and he succumbed to his injuries after a while.  David Fremd was the director of the Jewish Community of the city Paysandú, Uruguay. 

The cause of the murder was the fact that he was a Jew. This hideous incident proves that there is no country or society that is protected from anti-Semitic hatred. Anti-Semitism is not a thing that belongs to the past nor does it flourish exclusively in Islamic states. It can be found even in the most civilized societies of the world. This is precisely why vigilance against it must be firm and constant.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses its deepest condolences to the family of David Fremd and its compassion to the Jewish community of Uruguay. Along with expressing our sense of abhorrence of this brutal crime we also confirm our determination to fight against anti-Semitism with all our means.

Athens, March 11th, 2016

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

 
2016 HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE EVENTS IN GREECE Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 10:52

Greece commemorates officially the 27th of January as the Holocaust Remembrance Day since 2004, with the Greek Parliament’s unanimous vote.

Commemoration events, cultural and educational activities are being held on annual basis under the auspices of the regional authorities (prefectures) in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa, Volos and Ioannina in coordination with the respective Jewish Communities. Apart from customary wreath laying ceremonies at Holocaust memorials, this year’s events have included a special hearing at the Greek Parliament, which was held for the first time as a tribute to the Holocaust victims, as well as a number of educational and cultural activities:

In ATHENS events started in the morning of the 27th of January 2016 with the unveiling ceremony of the Monument dedicated to the Greek Righteous Among the Nations. The monument, which includes the names of the 328 Greek righteous who helped Jews escape deportation, is placed on the courtyard of the Synagogue of Athens, and it was unveiled by the President of the Hellenic Republic. 

At noon a special commemoration ceremony took place in the Greek Parliament attended by Holocaust survivors and Greek Jewish leaders. It was addressed by the Speaker of the Parliament Nikos Voutsis and the Minister of Education Nikos Filis.

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