Abravanel, the Blog

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

Archive for Σεπτεμβρίου 2016

Greek Minister accuses Jews of stealing the Holocaust (seriously)

Posted by Abravanel, the Blog στο 20/09/2016

On September 15th 2016 the vice-Minister of Education and Religious Affairs Theodosis Pelegrinis, (Syriza), said in a prepared speech in the Greek Parliament, (h/t to Viktor Eliezer for the find), what can only be described as a dystopic, antisemitic adaptation of the Jews who stole the Holocaust the Grinch which stole Christmas:

«Although the holocaust refers, generally, to the persecution and the genocide a state or regime performs against ethnic, religious, social or political groups[…] the Jews managed to identify holocaust with the tragic fate of their nation […] in order to highlight the crimes of the nazi regime against them with the ulterior purpose to create anger against those who comited crimes against their national status and the sympathy of the civilized world for their suffering. With patience and insistence they managed to appropriate the holocaust, so that they could claim their vindication».

I would have linked to the official transcript but after the outcry the minister changed the text of the speech in the site of the Ministry; another sign of the lack of trustworthiness and transparency of the Greek governments.

He proceeded to suggest that also the Greeks, (when he means Greeks he means the Christian Greeks), should try and appropriate the term «catastrophe» as a means of claiming reparations in the future. I need not say that this speech is one of the most insulting things I have ever heard:

It insults me as a Jew:

  • because it sees the murder of my family not as a tragedy but as a political tool.
  • he suggests that I cunningly appropriated a term to weaponize it. It is of little importance that the Jews themselves use the term Shoah/catastrophe and the term Holocaust is an American Christian creation.
  • he views my effort to perpetuate the memory as means to gain sympathy and advantages, monetary and ethnic ones.
  • it reduces the Shoah/Holocaust to a simple persecution, no different than any other and only elevated to its current singular status thanks to Jewish cunningness

It insults me as a Greek:

  • it considers the murder of 60.000 Greeks not as a Greek tragedy but as a Israeli one
  • it indulges a self-victimization culture
  • it views greek suffering only through monetary lenses tinted with venality

Pelegrinis is no casual politician; he is the former Rector of the University of Athens, the Dean of the Philosophy Department, an award-winning actor and writer. He is one of the best examples how Greek Antisemitism is normalized; what Pelegrinis said is not some poor choice of words but reflects accurately of how the greek society lends itself to a culture of sterile victimization which views with jealousy the dubious jewish privilege of having been almost completely exterminated.

pelegrinischildren

«Hello little non-Jewish children, (Christian and non-Christian because we leftists are not racists). Study and learn how we Greeks have many Holocausts so we can get money from these stingy Germans like the Jewz taught us» / source (of the photo, not of the fictional dialogue) http://www.thestival.gr

In the most detailed survey done on Greek Antisemitism by Antoniou/Kosmidi/Dina/Saltiel the authors tried to see the qualitative characteristics of the malady that afflicts Greece more than any country in the western world. Despite small differences, there was a remarkable homogeneity of the antisemitism manifested independently of factors such as education or political ideology. For example cosmopolitans tended to be Leftists and in theory had less hate towards Jews; still their infatuation with Palestine led them to expressing antisemitic opinions about Jews in general.

Only one marker is correlated with typical antisemitic stereotypes with no attenuating factors: Greek (Christian) victimization. More than 70% of the Greek (Christians) believe the Greeks have suffered more than the Jews; a result which knows no differentiation between Left/Right.

antoniou-6-650x473

«On Antisemitism and other demons», Antoniou et al, Athens Review of Books 3/9/2014

The reactions of the Greek-Jewish Community were officially subdued. One must not forget that Pelegrinis is the vice-minister of Religious Affairs with direct power of the every day life of the Jewish community; directly antagonizing him could lead him into punishing the Jews in ways which unfortunately we are all too aware of. The rest of the university world stayed also characteristically silent; let’s not think that holding a university chair makes one suddenly immune to the same casual antisemitic feelings ubiquitous in Greece. A special mention should go to the leadership of the once-mighty political party of PASOK who asked for the resignation of Pelegrinis; the sheer hypocricy can be seen in the fact that less than 4 years ago the president of PASOK himself indulged in wanton antisemitism singling out Jews in a list of presumed tax-evadors. Another hat tip goes to the biggest opposition party, Nea Dimokratia whose own vice president has advertised in his tv-show books written by Holocaust deniers and claims Jews control the banks !

So there you have it: an educated, former Rector, minister in a leftist goverment accuses Jews of stealing the Holocaust and weaponizing it for national gains. Not content with this accusation he suggests that Greeks should imitate them for financial gains.
Nobody, (let’s leave the usual suspects aside), protests except those seeking to gain political gains while themselves being champions of antisemitism. Why? Because the majority of Greeks believes the same thing ! And by the way the fact that a minister of a greek government explicitly says that the murder of 60.000 Greeks is only a foreign Jewish affair of no Greek interest does not even make the 8 o’clock news.

ps. Of course he is not antisemite, simply an antizionist.

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Posted in antisemitism, greece | Με ετικέτα: , , , , | 4 Σχόλια »

Antisemitic intimidation intensifies in Ioannina

Posted by Abravanel, the Blog στο 13/09/2016

Ioannina is a greek city in the north of Greece with a Jewish community dating centuries and the epicenter of a particular minhag of greek-speaking Jews called Romaniotes, (alongside the bigger Sefardic and Ashkenazi communities worldwide). During the Shoah it suffered a blow which eliminated 90% of the Jewish population with the consequence that today there are more Romaniotes living in New York or Israel than Ioannina.

Although the relationship between Christians and Jews was rather good throughout the centuries, (notwithstanding the ubiquitous populist antisemitic beliefs like the blood libel), during the Holocaust the Christian population was distinctly indifferent to Jewish persecution and participated actively in the looting of the Jewish homes. After the war the Community of Ioannina adjusted to its reduced size and embedded antisemitism and stayed distinctly silent. A resurgence of interest in the history of the Jewish community produced hope but it was met with a wave of unrelenting antisemitic violence against the synagogue and the cemetery. The chain of repeated attacks included some of the worse vandalisms ever seen in Greece, including the destruction of the grave of the mother of the president of the Community and implicated members of the local Greek Police, rendering pointless the quest to apprehend the perpetrators.

Lately a chain of antisemitic articles by the local Christian journalist Konstandinos Kaltsis created tension in the city. They accused the president of the Jewish community, an accomplished university professor of the Medical Faculty, of becoming vice-director of the local hospital thanks to the influence of the «Jewish Lobby». In later articles he accused Jews of being fascists, of trying to manipulate the world, of performing genocide of the Palestinians and similar. Unfortunately space to voice his hatred was afforded by the mainstream local newspaper Proinos Logos which directly endorsed him by titling the rebuttal «On Jews and their (emphasis mine) their Holocaust». We already covered it here.

Unfortunately the climate of intimidation has been worsening ever since:

Swastikas appeared on the walls of the synagogue and adjacent houses, in what has historically been the Jewish Quarter of Ioannina.

img_0151

courtesy of Alekos Raptis, Ioannina 12/9/2016 via http://enantiastonantisimitismo.wordpress.com

Despite the condemnation of the Municipality of Ioannina, there are reasons to believe that this could easily escalate since the perpetrators of the past wave of antisemitic violence remain at large. But since last time, this time they can count on the support of the neonazi Golden Dawn party which has directly endorsed the antisemitic journalist which is responsible for rekindling religious hatred.

But even more telling is the fact that despite being outed as financially supporting antisemitism, many companies have continued being advertised on the site of Kaltsis.

Apparently companies like the Bank of Epirus, Nitsiakos Poultry, Athletic Accademy of Ioannina and Pindos Poultry do not fear of being associated with antisemitism, through their advertisements. They do not fear that this will hurt their public image.

This speaks volumes of how antisemitism is viewed as normal in Greece and is much more worrisome than some badly drawn swastikas, albeit intimidating they might be.


Read More:

The Central Board of Jewish Communities has condemned and requested for Police protection.
The blog «Against Antisemitism» hosts the reply of the Athletic Academy of Ioannina, (responsible Georgia Panagiotou), which also advertises in the site of the antisemitic journalist. In a truly epic reply they think the victims should be ashamed and not the perpetrators, a true example of Olympic spirit which casts serious doubts on the principles taught to small children.
More photos on the same blog, courtesy of Alekos Raptis, here.
A previous article by Greek Jewish journalist Viktor Eliezer here.
New curation site FactNews has asked its readers to send emails to the newspaper, we endorse this request.
The Nea Dimokratia political party condemned the incident.

Posted in antisemitism, greece, Ioannina | Με ετικέτα: , , , , | 2 Σχόλια »

 
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