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The recent deadly terrorist attack that occurred yesterday, the 22nd of May 2017, in the foyer of the “Manchester Arena” of the city of ​​Manchester, shocked Great Britain. The attacker detonated an improvised explosive device killing 22 people, including children, and injuring at least 59 others. It is the deadliest terrorist attack in Great Britain since July 2005, when four British Muslims killed 52 people in a series of coordinated terrorist suicide bomb attacks in London which targeted civilians using the public transport system.

Once again, this blind terrorist attack targets young people in places where they go for entertainment, and its terrible symbolism is more than clear.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the abhorrence and deep sorrow of Greek Jewry for this hideous terrorist attack and expresses once more its concern about the almost mimetic spread of terrorism and blind violence.

Our thoughts are with the victims and their families in these difficult moments. We express the wholeheartedly solidarity of Greek Jewry to the British people and the British Government.

May 23, 2017

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

In an article published on the news site (May 10, 2017), entitled “In bloody ink”, journalist and cartoonist Stathis (Stavropoulos) denounces attempts to incriminate criticism against Israel that present it as anti-Semitism in order to annul such political criticism. The article is accompanied by a cartoon which pictures free opinion killed by Israel. The article and cartoon were Stathis response to the publication of a survey on Anti-Semitism in Greece which shows high rates of anti-Semitic feelings in Greece. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued the following announcement on New Anti-Semitism:  
Certain anti-Semitic articles and cartoons in the press and on the internet contribute to the building up of a stereotype based on drawing parallels among “Jews”, “Zionists” and “Nazis”, equalizing the first with the latter, within a context of a frenetic trend to demonize the Sate of Israel and its people, present them as “Nazis” and as the incarnation of absolute evil. This is the fundamental principle of the so-called “New Anti-semitism”.

Journalists, cartoonists and media use deliberately the term “agents” of Israel, to avoid being accused of anti-Semitism, giving as a pretext that they do not aim against the Jews but against the Zionists. In this spirit, the Extreme Right coined the term “Jewish Zionist”. This new form of Anti-semitism is in use both by the Extreme Right, as well as by many groups of the Left who wish to delegitimize the very right of existence of the State of Israel. 

We were very disappointed when we read the new anti-Semitic libel of the Greek columnist Stathis, which he accompanied with an outrageous cartoon. He defies Greek and international surveys which underline the rise of anti-Semitic stereotypes among the Greeks; he demonizes the State of Israel (the only democratic state in the wider sensitive area of the Middle East, and a precious ally of our country in very difficult circumstances); and he accuses and incriminates, with disgraceful, pejorative and insulting characterizations all those who disagree with his opinion and fight boldly against racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitic stereotypes.


The research study «Anti-Semitism in Greece today: Expressions, causes and tackling of the phenomenon», which is one of the very few pertinent public opinion polls, has been presented in Thessaloniki during a special event that took place on Wednesday May 3, 2017. The event, which was attended and addressed by European Commission’s Coordinator on combating anti-Semitism in Europe, Katharina von Schnurbein, was organized by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Greece, the foundation that published the research in a book with the same title.

The research program, conducted by Giorgos Antoniou, Spyros Kosmidis, Elias Dinas and Leon Saltiel, has been presented by George Antoniou (Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Thessaloniki) and Spyros Kosmidis (Lecturer, University of Oxford).

The important current research looks into the causes and expressions of anti-Semitism in Greece, proposing measures and policies effectively dealing with the phenomenon, based on the assumption that the Holocaust was an unprecedented crime against humanity that cannot be time-barred.

The EU Coordinator on combating anti-Semitism, Katharina von Schnurbein, in her opening remarks stressed that not all EU states have integrated into their law systems the European legislation against Anti-Semitism; she also informed the audience that Europe is in cooperation with the biggest foreign companies in the social media, in order to fight the spread of Anti-Semitic stereotypes through the social media. Maria Giannakaki, General Secretary of Transparency and Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, stressed that «[Anti-Semitism] is the most time-resistant form of racism and discrimination».

Wednesday, 04 January 2017 13:01

By Yvette Nahmia-Messinas, Jerusalem Post, January 2nd, 2017

Where should I start? I’ll start at the end. On Saturday we went to see the film “Ouzeri Tsitsanis” (Cloudy Sunday) by director Manousos Manousakis in the framework of the Jewish Film Festival at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. “Ouzeri” in Greek is the place where people drink ouzo and eat mezedes. Vassilis Tsitsanis was one of the most important figures in the formation of modern Greek music, a master bouzouki player and among the forces shaping the Rebetiko (urban Greek music) in Salonica before and during WWII. The screening hall was filled with known faces of Greek Jews, Greek music lovers, philhellenes and beyond.

The film was balanced, nuanced and rich, and succeeded in telling the story of the Greek Jews of Salonica, the “madre d’Israel,” from different perspectives. We saw the Sephardi Greek Jews, heard them speak in Greek and Ladino and sing songs in Judeo-Espagnol in their communal choir as well as get involved in the new socialist ideas. We were exposed to the foreign sounding names of the foods they ate, the synagogue they went to, the controversial rabbi they followed. We also saw the inner strife among them, of those who suggested not listening to the rabbi and his directives of going along with the Germans’ requests, and those who felt safer in complying with the Jewish community’s policy rather than straying away from it and going on their own.

We were shown Estrea, the young Sephardi Jewess (Christina Chila Fameli) who is active in the resistance by typewriting its messages in a well-hidden basement. Although she is issued false identity papers as a Greek Orthodox woman, and has the option to escape with her Greek Christian boyfriend Giorgos (Charis Fragkoulis) to Athens, Estrea opts to turn herself in as a Jew and get on the train to be with her family. Estrea knows that the train is headed for Poland, but doesn’t know its ultimate destination is Auschwitz, where 96% of Salonica’s Jews perished.


Wednesday, 21 December 2016 13:12

Europe is once again shocked by the horror of terrorist attacks, just before Christmas. This time, the blind terrorist attack hit the Christmas market of Charlottenburg, Berlin, leaving 12 people dead and 48 wounded. Obviously, the choice of these days of Christmas was not a coincidence; unfortunately, it becomes even clearer that fear will keep haunting Europe, which has to be united and determined to the fight against terrorism, in order to ensure security and freedom of its citizens.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece condemns in the most absolute way this act of fanaticism and intolerance that hit Berlin. We support the fight against terrorism, and at the same time we express our deep concern that such strikes will intensify extreme voices and behaviors all across Europe.

We should all stand together against hatred and terrorism, in order to put an end to this vicious cycle of terror. Finally, we stand by the victims and their families, to which we express our deepest condolences.

Athens, December 20, 2016

Monday, 12 December 2016 14:26

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) issued the following announcement in reaction to a statement made by former Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos (also in his interview published on Sunday’s edition of ‘Vradini’ newspaper, of Dec. 11, 2016), in which he expressed his viewpoint on the “integration of Golden Dawn within the democratic political system”. The frm. Minister’s statement arose strong criticism which led him to issue a clarifying announcement. KIS’s announcement reads as follows:

“The convergence with the neo-Nazi party in the context of the democratic political system cannot but lead to its own abolishment, to the alteration of the very democracy itself that the neo-Nazis aim at destroying. Every democratic society needs to protect the democratic institutions, safeguard civilization and human rights regardless of skin colour, race or religion, against the followers of the darkest page of our history, against the nightmare of neo-Nazism in Greece.

We hope that former Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos will take into account that those who have the swastika as their emblem cannot be integrated in any democratic framework and that there can be no convergence with the seekers of a regime that led humanity to its most barbaric period in history, that caused a ruthless war with millions of victims and sent six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of other “different” people to the most industrialized and horrific death.

Athens, December 12, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 08:51

The terrorist attack that occurred on Saturday 10 December 2016, in Istanbul, Turkey, with thirty-eight people dead and many other wounded, perpetuates a cycle of terrorist violence in the neighboring country. The Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece condemns terrorist violence in all its forms and manifestations. At the same time, we would like to express our deepest regret for the tragic loss of human lives and our warm condolences to the families of the victims.

The ink was barely dry on the announcement concerning the sad news from Istanbul, when the world was shocked by another deadly bombing attack against the people attending the Sunday mass at the Coptic Cathedral, the church of St. Marc in Cairo, on Sunday 11 December 2016. The Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece expresses the full support of the Greek Jewry for the Coptic community of Egypt, which once again became the target of an extremist attack. We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. At the same time, we hope that the Egyptian government will stand determined against those responsible for this attack of hate and intolerance.

Athens, 12 December 2016

Monday, 12 December 2016 10:13

WJC, 11.12.2016: Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), on Sunday strongly condemned the deadly terrorist attacks in Istanbul and Cairo, calling them "crimes against humanity".

At least 25 people were killed when a bomb exploded at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo during Sunday mass. On Saturday, 38 people were killed and many more wounded in a twin bomb attack in Istanbul, which was claimed by a radical Kurdish group.

In response to the attack in Egypt, Lauder declared: "An attack on Christian worshippers at a church in Cairo is not only an attack on Christians; it is an attack on all of us. We could all be victims. Tonight, Jews around the world are shocked by this barbaric act, and we stand in solidarity with the embattled Coptic community in Egypt as it mourns so many of its members.

"We call on the authorities in Egypt to do everything they can to stop further bloodshed, to ensure that sites of worship are being protected, and to do everything to bring those who perpetrated this attack to justice," he added.

Attacks against Egypt's Orthodox Coptic Christian community, which makes up 10 percent of the country's population, have intensified since 2011. More than two dozen sectarian assaults have targeted the community this year alone.  Sunday's bombing was the gravest sectarian attack on Christians in recent years.

The WJC president also expressed his sorrow at the twin bomb attack in Istanbul on Saturday: "The people of Turkey have been the target of so many terrorist attacks in recent months, and in this moment of despair and anguish, we send them a message of solidarity on behalf of the Jewish people," said Lauder.

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