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A Jewish cemetery in Greece was vandalized in Dec. 23, 2014

Anti-Semitism is still alive and kicking in Greece.

Two prominent leaders of the Greek business community have accused a prominent Greek-Israeli businessman and the head of the American Jewish Committee of promoting a law that would lead to Greek layoffs while benefitting Israeli pharmaceutical firms.

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Dimitris Giannakopoulos, a leader in the Greek pharmaceutical industry, and MP Nikos Nikolopoulos of the right-wing Independent Greeks party, accused ADL board member Sabby Mionis of exacerbating the financial crisis in Greece. They leveled the same charge against the head of the AJC.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt joined the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece in condemning the remarks, made on October 14, saying they “allude to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that Jews benefit at the expense of others.

“We know from our repeated polling in Greece that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are believed by wide swathes of the Greek public,” Greenblatt said. “When asked whether Jews have too much power in the business world, nine out of ten Greeks agreed.

“Anti-Semitic statements in parliament and by Greek members of parliament must always be repudiated by Greek leaders if any progress is to be made against the prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes in Greek society,” he said. “Sabby Mionis was similarly targeted two years ago without any official reaction. Last month, we appreciated Prime Minister Aexis Tsipras’s prompt removal from his government of a junior minister for anti-Semitic statements, but such acts should be the norm and not the exception.”

In the recent ADL Global 100 poll on anti-Semitic attitudes in Europe, 67 percent of those surveyed in Greece were found to harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

12 COMMENTS

  1. The Greeks follow the money trail but don't always work hard enough to earn it. Greek Cypriots on the other hand profess love for Israel and Israelis because of the economic boom the economic ties with Israel are heralding. But, let's not kid ourselves, the good feeling could disappear overnight if anything would happen to sour the economic benefits they are expecting. Personally I would prefer strong relations with Turkey any day and hope it will soon be a reality once again.

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