Abravanel, the Blog

Jewish life and not only in Greece / Εβραϊκή ζωή και όχι μόνο στην Ελλάδα


Posted by Abravanel, the Blog στο 04/03/2007


Genesis written on an egg I needed a first post to kick off this blog and here it is. To be reading this you probably came here knowing what you were going to see, so instead of telling you of what you’ll be seeing in the future I was thinking of telling you why this was born.

Well the reason is simply because the void that the Shoah created still exists out there over the dead but in a peculiar way also over the living. From the searching I’ve done with the exception of the institutional sites of the greek-jewish communities, which are almost always outdated, there are almost no sites or blogs concerning the Jewish life and history in Greece and the ones that do exist usually cover the past and not the present.

This void has given birth to a strange phenomenon: though Greece has never experienced a virulent antisemitism to the extent of some European nations, today is hailed as one of the most antisemitic countries in Europe. But, still, this climate doesn’t get translated into violent acts other than an occasional vandals on jewish monuments or the delirium of some far-Right but also, to my personal dismay, of far-Left public figures. On the other hand there is a complete void in the society about it’s jewish community and a strange defensive attitude though we’re talking only about 3000-5000 people in an 11.000.000 country, less than 0.045%. People are always ready to complain about how we’re always talking about jews And the Shoah And the world jewish lobby And And And… Still in all of my life I’ve never seen more than two times in the greek telly shows on the greek jews and a handful more about the Shoah which in 95% of the cases is foreign productions. Till 3-4 years ago there wasn’t a memorial day about the Shoah and the Shoah is not taught in schools. And when the jews of today are trying to restore some of the monuments left, like the synagogue in Chania, they receive threats by the local government and church with threats of physical violence! All this among the Middle East mayhem which makes the traditionally filo-palestinian public opinion rave literally with anger which gets reversed to all of the jews collectively being responsible for the often violent acts of Israel. I’m afraid to think what would happen if we didn’t rule Greece!

In any case this produces fear, fear to talk, fear to complain, fear to appear un-hellenic the same way in the ‘50s in the McCarthic USA one feared getting labeled as “un-american”. To top this we have a strange alliance between the Left and the Right where everyone attacks the greek jews and no one is saying anything to defend them; the conservatives because jews are known to conspire to become world leaders while the liberals see them as the long arm of the US! And in a country where every group has the sacrosanct right to block any street, the concerns of the local jewish community are treated as impertinent whines from people who want to disgrace the country.

This place is gonna hold some stuff I’m going to write over some episodes. It’s not going to be necessarily over current events and will not be “informing” you of anything, there are better places for that. It’s simply going to take specific events, often from the web, and comment on the imperceptible line that divides the greek society and we constantly trip every time we try to get over it.

Enjoy the show till it lasts!



image: The book of Genesis written on an egg – seemed an nice picture to begin with.

2 Σχόλια προς “Beresheet…”

  1. Dr Moshe said

    Dear Abravanel,

    I came across your site almost too late, but I feel obliged to congratulate you for the fresh approach to a subject that seems hidden under the carpet. Your initiative is mostly welcome.


  2. abravanel said

    Why too late? It isn’t as if the jews in this country are going anywhere, despite what many may wish for! :-D

    Still thanks for your kind words. I really don’t think I’m saying something new; just that people choose voluntarily to overlook these things, hopefully times are changing though.

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