Social services for Nazi victims have been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
Funds have been provided by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany for the Emergency Assistance Program for Nazi Victims at the direction of the United States District Court supervising the lawsuit In RE: Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation (Swiss Banks).
|ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE CONVICTION OF GREEK JOURNALIST STRATIS BALASKAS|
The relation and the boundary line between freedom of speech and expression on one hand and defamation on the other provokes always great discussion. Recently Stratis Balaskas, a Greek journalist, was convicted for defamation after characterizing a fellow citizen, who is also an educator and director of a public High School, as “neo-Nazi”. Specifically, the reporter was convicted for publishing libels. The case was brought in front of the Court of Appeals, where the conviction was reaffirmed. The plaintiff, who denied any connection with such ideas and/or organizations, has published in the past several articles in websites and blogs (using also his account at the “Hellenic School Network” www.sch.gr, a web platform of the Ministry of Education that connects educators and schools around Greece) where he argues in favor of the “Aryan race” and calls all the nationalists of the country –and especially the teachers and the parents- to unite in order to fight for the preservation of “racial purity” and spread the truth about the Jews among others. The Court decided that the characterization “neo-Nazi” is defamatory and convicted the defendant to three months jail time. Finally, the case will be considered again by the Supreme Court.
Following articles in the Greek press about this case, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued the following announcement in order to support Mr. Balaska’s claim for justice:
Every well-ordered society has its principles that define what is right and wrong, while the fundamental right of the freedom of speech constitutes the cornerstone every democracy. With these thoughts in mind, we worry about the conviction of the reporter Stratis Balaskas by the Court of Appeals. Mr. Balaskas, according to a press article, was convicted for defamation through the medium of the Press, after calling, in one of his articles, as “national-socialist and neo-Nazi” the Director of a local High School of Lesbos.
Therefore, we deem it appropriate to make some relevant observations: Firstly, to distinguish between the notion of National-Socialism and the notion of Nazism is historically totally incorrect, let alone to consider that the first one implies a mildest characterization than the second. According to the press article, the convicted Mr. Balaskas had rightly denounced the extreme beliefs of the plaintiff, criticizing in that way the work of a public professor and considering that the social role of the plaintiff is not consistent with the expression of extreme nationalist speech.
Moreover, it is a really discouraging fact that a professor expresses this kind of extreme thoughts without any consequences. A teacher has no right to become a preacher of intolerance. Ideas such as extreme nationalism, fanaticism and anti-Semitism have no place in students’ education.
We consider it our duty to stand by Mr. Balaskas and support his fight for justice, while our faith to the judiciary system remains strong.
Finally, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece will always condemn any expression of hate speech and any intolerant behavior.
Athens, July 14, 2016
Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
|ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE PEW SURVEY ON EUROPEAN FEARS RELEVANT TO REFUGEE INFLUX – GREECE’S SCORES|
For the past several years Europe goes through an ongoing crisis. Economic destabilization has inter alia altered to a great extent the nature of relations amongst European citizens. Tolerance of the Europeans towards the refugees, the immigrants and any other minority decreases daily. This fact is also confirmed by the recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center on European scale.
The idea of a multicultural society seems to have collapsed for good. In the face of the immigrant European citizens see the foreign that will be a burden to economy and will endanger national security. The recent terrorist attacks intensify xenophobic and racist feelings as they offer ground for rushed assessments. In this context the rates of Islamophobia have dramatically increased in the recent period.
Regarding our country, the results are highly worrisome. Greece lies steadily among the first countries with the highest scores of negative opinions towards immigrants and refugees. Greece also holds the highest score in Europe regarding society’s negative attitudes towards the Jews. These results must not come as a surprise to us. For a long time diffused anti-Semitism is common in Greece, as this recent survey came to confirm. Anti-Semitic incidents increase more and more. Intolerance seems to have put roots in the very heart of society. The rhetoric of stereotypes and conspiracy theories, as well as prejudice against the Jews, and secondly against the Muslims, is widely tolerated by a major part of Greek society.
Therefore, let this survey be a starting point for reaction. It is time that all competent authorities rise high to the challenge of their responsibilities.
|KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE DEADLY TERROR ATTACK IN NICE - FRANCE. Nice was stuck on the National Day of Bastille|
France was meant to be once again the target of a new bloodshed on the 14th of July 2016, the day of national celebration. Bastille Day, the Festivity of the French nation was struck by terror. The date was obviously not a random pick. It is the day that represents Democracy, as well as the civilization of human rights, the modern world at large, thus all those elements despised by phanatic terrorists. This time it was Nice’s time to experience the horror of a blind terror attack. Death toll is again too heavy counting 84 victims so far. The target was selected well in advance. It was the crowd that had joyously joined the celebrations for France’s National Day.
Europe lives in fear. The only question lies in when and where the next strike will take place, as the circle of blood does not seem to come to an end soon.
As long as terrorism is not totally defeated, we are forced to live in fear.
Verbal condemnation of every new terror attack is obviously not enough. Customary announcements tend to become just words empty of meaning.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece believes that time has come for all to undertake our responsibilities so as to put an end to this tragedy. The more we remain inert and passive observers the more phanaticism and intolerance will gain ground while Europe shinks in the darkness. The responsibility we bear is historic. Finally, in these difficult moments our thoughts are for the victims and their families to whom we convey our deepest condolences.
Athens, July 15, 2016
CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>
|Page 1 of 40|