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August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

Spiegel Bemoaning ‘Germanophobia’

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

It appears that the Germans have been expecting to be forgiven for those memorable years 1933-1945, especially when considering all the goodness and stability Germany has been spreading around the continent. But the continent is refusing to be grateful, and have become quite insolent, in fact. Germany’s push for austerity during the ongoing euro crisis has prompted Nazi depictions of Chancellor Angela Merkel in many parts of Southern Europe and mass demonstrations pushing the same idea, namely that today’s Germany is pursuing the same old targets, using economic means.

This weekend, Spiegel interviewed Brendan Peter Simms, a professor of the History of International Relations in the Center of International Studies at Cambridge University, asking poignantly: “People talk of a Fourth Reich, and the hatred is palpable. Is this just absurd dramatics, or is it a reaction to a true power shift in Germany’s favor?”

Prof. Simms enlightened Spiegel’s editors—and their German readers—on the fact that the “German question” is still very much on everybody’s mind in Europe, despite the German reunification, and perhaps because of it.

“There is no doubt Germanophobia exists,” said Simms. “Look at Greece, at Italy, even Ireland, a country that has never before expressed hostility toward Germany, but which is now full of anger over increasingly painful cuts to its standard of living, an anger that comes from people feeling they have been hung out to dry. Then, of course, there is also anti-German sentiment that stems from World War II, for example in Greece.”

According to Simms, the problem starts with German politicians who tend to emphasize almost exclusively the poor conduct of the countries at the periphery of the EU, insisting that those countries change this conduct as a prerequisite for changing the EU’s political structure.

“By taking this position, they’re failing to recognize that this poor conduct was in part a result of a design flaw in the way the euro was implemented, which led to the countries at Europe’s periphery being flooded with new, cheap money… My fear is that Germany’s policies on this point consist solely of setting the European periphery conditions it can’t fulfill.”

Antisemitism Is Rampant in Europe, Pass the Matzo

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

My job as employee of the Jewish Press Online includes going over stories put out by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (I’m also in charge of maintaining the office telegraph, which gets tricky on humid days, don’t ask). This morning, as I was going through those motions, I realized there was a common denominator to almost all the news items on display:

Three men believed to be linked to Mohamed Merah were arrested in southern France.

A major survey among Belgian teenagers indicated antisemitism was seven times more prevalent among Muslim youths than in non-Muslim teenagers.

The Greek Golden Dawn party has called for a boycott of Estee Lauder cosmetic products after World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder urged Greece to ban the neo-Nazi group.

A local authority in Switzerland has fired an employee who sent the Israeli embassy an email expressing joy about the death of Jews in a terrorist attack.

A Polish court has ordered a psychiatric examination of a man accused of planning to blow up the country’s parliament building because of “xenophobic, anti-Semitic ideas.”

That’s just since 3 PM Wednesday!

Now, it’s possible that it only looks to us, outsiders, as if Europe is in a 1939 time zone. It’s possible that Jews inside Europe are not nearly as concerned, because they don’t experience antisemitism directly. But that’s not what I hear in shul from French Jews who come to Netanya to vacation and to check out alternative housing while they’re here.

So, if this is 1939, why are we so blasé about it? How come Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t going to the UN to warn the world about it, the way he did the Iranian bomb? Seriously, folks, Europe is a place that can garble up Jews at a rate of thousands every day if we dare look away.

I have to say, if we’ve become desensitized to the signs of an approaching holocaust then we might as well be zombies, we might as well be dead.

And buy a lot of Estee Lauder products, if only to make up for the sales in Greek Nazi stores…

Greek Soccer Player Gets Life Ban for Nazi Salute

Monday, March 18th, 2013

A Greek soccer player has been banned for life from playing for the national team after giving the Nazi salute during a game.

Giorgos Katidis, 20, who plays for the AEK Athens team, gave the salute after scoring the winning goal in a match on March 15, the same day Greek Jews marked the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the Thessaloniki Jewish community to Auschwitz.

The Greek soccer federation on Sunday barred Katidis from playing for the national team for life, saying that the Nazi salute was a “severe provocation” and an insult to “all the victims of Nazi barbarity.”

Katidis, who used to play for a Thessaloniki team, claimed he was unaware of the meaning of the salute and apologized for his act. “I am not a racist,” he said in a message on Twitter.

In recent months Greece has seen an upsurge in such incidents with the rise of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, whose members and leaders often give the salutes and employ other Nazi imagery

Speaking at a ceremony on Sunday to mark the deportation of the Thessaloniki Jews, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras vowed to take a harsher stance against neo-Nazis and racists.

Bulgaria Commemorates 70 Years of Saving Its Jews

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

The 70th anniversary of the rescue of Bulgaria’s Jews in WW II is being commemorated with a number of solemn ceremonies in Bulgarian capital Sofia Sunday, Sofia News Agency reports.

Unlike most other Nazi allies or Nazi-occupied countries (with the exception of Denmark and Finland), Bulgaria managed to save its entire Jewish population of 48,000 from deportation to concentration camps.

Bulgarian Minister of Justice Dimitar Peshev is credited with playing a major role in preventing the deportations, as well as Bulgarian Church officials and ordinary citizens.

The story of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II is been told in “Beyond Hitler’s Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria’s Jews” by Michael Bar-Zohar, an Israeli historian, politician and former Knesset member who was born in Bulgaria.

The organization of Jews in Bulgaria, Shalom, will unveil a memorial sign near the Bulgarian Parliament, after which a solemn ceremony will be held at the Sofia Synagogue.

The ceremony will be attended by official representatives of the Jewish community in Bulgaria, the state of Israel, and other foreign dignitaries.

On Sunday night, the mayors of Bulgarian towns which helped rescue Jews from the Nazis will be awarded the Shofar prize in a ceremony under the auspices of Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.

The solemn events Sunday will also mourn the 11,343 Jews who were deported to the death camps from territories in Yugoslavia and Greece occupied by Bulgaria during WW II.

Greek Entertainer under Fire for Swastika-Star of David Logo

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Greece’s Jewish community has complained to authorities in Athens after a controversial entertainer used a symbol of an intertwined swastika and a Star of David to promote his night club shows.

“The design depicted on the poster fiercely insults our very religion as well as the memory of the six million Jews, victims of the Holocaust,” said a statement from the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, addressed to the country’s Minister of Justice and officials in the education ministry.

The poster advertising the show by singer and comedian Tsimis Panousis, for a series of shows at a club in the port city of Piraeus near Athens, shows a Magen David intertwined with a swastika.

The poster has been plastered widely across Athens and on major boulevards in the city. Panousis, who has a reputation for being provocative, was apparently trying to imply that Greece’s financial crisis was a result of the combined efforts of a German-led austerity plan and Jewish-controlled financial interests.

The Jewish central board’s statement said the board had appealed to various municipalities to remove the offending posters and that they had received positive responses. However, the posters remained up in many places in the city.

There has been an upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents in Greece recently, but most have been tied to the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party.

Why Israel Should Recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

The Republic of Cyprus has decided to upgrade the Palestinian delegation to Cyprus in order to make it an “embassy.” The Republic of Cyprus did this despite the fact that they are opposed to other countries recognizing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, also known as Northern Cyprus, which comprises the north eastern portion of the Island and desires recognition as a state.

Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention states that for an entity to be a state under international law it must possess: a permanent population; a defined territory; a government; and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. Presently, Northern Cyprus meets all of these criteria. They have a permanent Turkish Cypriot population that makes up the majority of the population in Northern Cyprus, with an effective united government ruling over this territory and they furthermore have the ability to enter into relations with other states, if only the international community was receptive to them.

Contrast that with the Palestinians who are divided between Fatah in Judea and Samaria and Hamas in Gaza. Israel also controls 60 percent of Judea and Samaria, as well as Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as their capital. The Palestinians thus neither have a defined territory or government. Furthermore, with a great part of the Palestinian’s “refugee” population living in exile and Jewish communities scattered throughout areas that the Palestinians claim for a state (with Jews making up the majority of the population in what is known as “Area C”), it is questionable whether the Palestinians possess a permanent population as well.

The Turkish Cypriot cause is also one that Israelis should sympathize with. The London and Zurich Agreements of 1959 proclaimed that the island of Cyprus was supposed to be a partnership between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities. The Greek Cypriots violated this agreement in an attempt to unite the island with Greece, in order to deny the Turkish Cypriots political equality (just as the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world were against permitting Israel to exist under any borders). During 11 years of bloodshed, 103 Turkish Cypriot villages were destroyed. By the Turkish Intervention of 1974, the junta government of Cyprus had demonstrated genocidal ambitions against the Turkish Cypriots. As Nicos Sampson, then ruler of Cyprus, himself declared, “Had Turkey not intervened I not only would have declared Enosis (unification with Greece) but I would have annihilated the Turks in Cyprus.” That mirrors similar and continuing statements from Palestinians.

Since then, the Turkish Cypriots, like the Israelis, have been attempting to reach a peace agreement. Very much like the Israelis, the Turkish Cypriots have not had much luck in this regard. Under the most recent peace proposal, the U.N.-backed Annan Plan, 65 percent of the Turkish Cypriot population accepted while 76 percent of the Greek Cypriot population rejected the peace agreement. The Greek Cypriots have since remained intransigent in their positions – an intransigence Israel has similarly felt from the Arabs.

Regardless of the justice of the Turkish Cypriot’s cause, as of last November, 131 countries have recognized the fictitious “State of Palestine” – despite the fact the Palestinian’s seeking of such a status without Israeli agreement violates the Oslo Accords – and the Israeli government has yet to take punitive action against any of them. If Israel recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, it would send a strong message to all states that have elements that seek to secede and form separate states, that they too will face the consequences.

The Cyprus issue is also considered a top priority in Turkish foreign policy. Recognizing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, has the potential to significantly lesson the hostility between Israel and Turkey, despite the fact that the Islamist AKP is in power, without Israel having to issue any apology for the Mavi Marmara affair or making any other concessions to the AKP leadership. This could be good for regional stability and would lesson Israel’s isolation within the Islamic world.

Such a move might also enable Israel to build relations with the Turkish Cypriot nation, which is significantly more secular than the AKP government in Turkey and thus is not inherently hostile towards Israel. Israel could enjoy a similar relationship with the Turkish Cypriots that Israel presently enjoys with Azerbaijan, offering Israel many business and tourism opportunities.

Hundreds of Jewish Tombstones Found in Greece

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Greek police on Thursday said they had discovered hundreds of Jewish marble headstones destroyed during the Nazi occupation of Greece during World War II.

Most of the 668 fragments were dated from the mid-1800s to just prior to the war in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city.

Approximately 60,000 Greek Jews were murdered during the Holocaust – almost all the Jews in the country.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/hundreds-of-jewish-tombstones-found-in-greece/2012/12/23/

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