An example of how attacks against Jews are normalized in Ioannina
Posted by Abravanel, the Blog στο 29/08/2016
Antisemitic articles are so abundant in the Greek Press that one could fill entire volumes with one-year’s output alone. But one would err, should he presume the mere abundance as proof of why Greece is the most antisemitic country in the western world. Instead the feature that sets Greece apart is how normalized and ubiquitous antisemitism is; or as Moses Altcheh says «it is embedded in the society».
In an article by Kostas Kaltsis in the Proinos Logos newspaper, we have everything: rhetorical questions whether we should continue talking about the Holocaust, claims that many more Greek Christians died, that Jews do not care about Greek (Christian) deaths, of Jewish influence on how the world evolves, of the genocide of the Palestinians, of accusations of Jews of Ioannina conspiring with the turkish despots against the Christians et cetera. In a next article he attacked personally the president of the Jewish Community Dr.Moisis Elisaf attributing his designation as deputy director at Ioannina General Hospital, to the international «Jewish Lobby» and generally attacking Jews as «trying to manipulate/rule the world», (in the meantime Elisaf is an accomplished medical professor in Ioannina University and one can access his fantastic track record at Pubmed). Other articles accused Jews of having a fascist mentality and similar antisemitic accusations.
This particular incident does not concern the typical neonazi crude antisemitism which we see every day in newstands all around Greece with titles like «Zionist plan to exterminate the White Race». On the contrary it offers the token condemnation of nazi murders but takes offense at every facet of Jewish existence. The pretext for this attack is the Holocaust Memorial planned for the city of Ioannina, a city in which faced multiple violent antisemitic acts in the past, albeit met with limited but nevertheless existent resistance by Christians.
But despite nazi Golden Dawn supporting Kostas Kaltsis, one cannot label him a nazi. Indeed the newspaper Proinos Logos, (owned by the Koutsoliodos family), is a mainstream newspaper with no overt pro-Jewish or antisemitic sentiments. Of course, as any other newspaper in Greece, houses the occasional antisemitic jab but it also houses opinions which place the Holocaust into the local history with dignity.
But who is Kostandinos Kaltsis ? He is associated with the newspaper Epirus Press which has the same address and telephone number, with two other entries is the Ioannina Chamber of Commerce: publishing company Informedia and another run by Vasilios Kaltsis of Konstandinos. Also see the weekly Erevna in which V.Kaltsis appears as the owner shares the same email as Epirus Press in which K.Kaltsis appears as editor. In any case there is the infomercial «Ηπειρώτες Δημιουργοί» where the names Vasilis Kaltsis, Kostas Kaltsis, Informedia are tidely grouped together in the beginning. There is also a radio station, Studio E, on whose behalf V.Kaltsis receives money from the Chamber of Commerce and where K.Kaltsis works.
If one searches these companies in Diavgeia, he will quickly find out that these companies, which appear to be linked to this antisemitic editor, have received funding from the Chamber of Commerce of Ioannina from 2011 to 2016, the Water Company of Ioannina, the Region of Epirus and other publicly funded organizations.
Further list of advertisers who choose to fund antisemitism and hatred:
1. Pindos Co-Op. The president is Andreas Dim. and they can be reached here.
2. House4u. The owner appears to be Dimitris P. and they can be reached here.
3. Athletic Academy of Ioannina, Fencing Dept. In the ad it asks to contact Georgia Pan. which can be done here and in Facebook.
4. Nitsiakos Food Company. They can be reached here.
I would add that Kaltsis is the vice-president to the Association of Web Editors, but I don’t think the association would bat an eye. Their front page is riddled with antisemitic quotes, testimonies to the eternal jewish hatred of the Greek Race.
To all this hatred the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece replied with a stern article in the Proinos Logos newapaper and so did Moisis Elisaf who was the target of the antisemitic missives. Let’s not forget that Elisaf has been the target of violent antisemitism and in 2009 he had his mother’s tomb smashed and vandalized with blood. But most importantly a local journalist, Alekos Raptis rose to the occasion and so did 11 University professors who rose to defend the honour of the academia; they are Athanasiadis Charis, Abatzopoulou Fragiski, Antoniou Giorgos, Kargiotis Dimitris, Kardasis Vasilis, Kokkinos Giorgos, Mavroskoufis Dimitris, Papastefanaki Lida, Solomon Esthir, Flitouris Lambros, Hodolidou Eleni. Unfortunately the Proinos Logos newspaper made its position clear, adopting a clear antisemitic mentality of us-vs-them and entitled it «On Jews and their (emphasis mine) Holocaust». Because in Greece we tend not to be politically correct and say things like Trump would: the Holocaust does not concern us and Greek Jews are not Greeks; on the contrary when we spit upon them and they don’t even have the decency to look down in shame.
So here you have it – tl;dr: a journalist moaning that the once-a-year after decades of ignorance «Holocaust of the Jews» is celebrated too much. When Jews protest he attacks a multi-published Jewish medical doctor, accusing him of attempting to enslave Ioannina. And instead of being summarily removed, a mainstream newspaper adopts his view ! The icing to the proverbial cake ? He cries that he is being censored while receiving money from the Greek State, through the taxes of the Jews themselves !
Should you wish to contact the advertisers you are welcome to use the following short statement:
«H ελευθερία της έκφρασης είναι ένα απαραβίαστο δικαίωμα. Αλλά ο σεβασμός στην δυνατότητα να εκφράζει κανείς την άποψη του, δεν ταυτίζεται με την υοθεσία αυτών των απόψεων. Για αυτό το λόγο βρίσκω απαράδεκτη την επιλογή σας να χρηματοδοτείτε μέσω της διαφήμισης, κειμένων που εκφράζουν βαθύτατα ρατσιστικές απόψεις που προάγουν το μίσος ενάντια στους Εβραίους και την σχετικοποίηση του Ολοκαυτωματος. Θα ήθελα να σας ζητήσω να ξανασκεφτείτε το κατά πόσο αυτό είναι συμβατό με τις αξίες της επιχείρησης σας και ανάλογα να επιλέξετε.
«Freedom of expression is an unalienable right. But the respect to the ability to express oneself freely does not equate to the adoption of these expressions. For this I find unacceptable your choice to fund, through advertisement, texts that advocate hate towards Jews and the trivialization of the Shoah. I would like to ask you to reconsider of whether this is compatible with the values of your business and act accordingly.