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August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

Greece to Ignore EU’s Anti-Israel Labeling Rules

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

The Greek government has told Israel it will disregard European Union guidelines advising member states to re-label any good manufactured in communities past the 1949 Armistice Line, also known as the “Green Line.”

The guidelines, published earlier this month, advise that anything produced in Judea and Samaria cannot be labeled “Made in Israel.”

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Athens would oppose the guidelines one day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited Jerusalem, according to a report by The Times of Israel. There was no coverage of the government’s decision in any Greek media.

Hungary declared its intention to defy the EU guidelines earlier this month, almost as soon as the directive was issued.

But since 2003, there had already been a numerical code placed on Israeli imports by the EU, in order to differentiate between products made anywhere beyond the “Green Line” and those produced within “pre-1967″ Israel, according to The Guardian British newspaper.

In response to the EU’s labeling, Netanyahu announced Sunday at the opening of the weekly government cabinet meeting that Israel would end cooperation with the EU’s role in peacemaking with the Palestinian Authority.

Earlier in the month, Israel’s Ambassador to the EU, David Walzer explained, “This for us in Israel feels like we have been singled out for quasi-sanctions using economic tools for punishment.” The EU has not applied the same guidelines to products manufactured in territories “occupied” by several other nations, including Morocco.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry indicated meanwhile that although individual relations with various European nations would continue, there would be no dialogue with the EU “until the reassessment is completed.”

Nevertheless, a European Union spokesperson insisted the entity would “continue to work on the Middle East peace process” independently.

Past activities by the EU have included generous funding and unauthorized construction of illegal homes and other structures for Arab squatters in Area C territory that is supposed to be under Israel’s complete control, in accordance with the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords.

Given that history, the mammoth rate of Arab immigration to most European member states in the EU, and the overwhelmingly negative voting history of the entity when issues involving Israel are raised at forums such as the United Nations, one might question whether independent work by the EU is really possible.

Hana Levi Julian

Jews Accused of Exacerbating Financial Crisis in Greece

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

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.

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.

Hana Levi Julian

Pro-Israel Legislators in Jerusalem to ‘Stand with Israel’

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Twenty-two parliamentarians from 18 countries around the world are in Jerusalem for the annual Israel Allies Foundation conference in Jerusalem and will focus on attacking the Boycott Israel (BDS) movement.

They also will discuss the threat of a nuclear Iran on Israel and the Western world, and Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

The three-day conference starts on Tuesday and is sponsored by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). Represented countries are Britain, Italy, Slovakia, Holland, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, Greece, Finland, Canada, South Africa, Uganda, Guatemala, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.

President Reuven Rivlin, several Knesset Members and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will address the visitors on Tuesday.

They will tour Judea and Samaria on Wednesday, including the Rami Levi supermarket between Jerusalem and the communities of Beit El and Ofra. Arabs who work with Jews in the market will speak with the delegation.

The group also will visit Bat Galim Shaer, the mother of one of the boys kidnapped and murdered by Hamas last summer.

On Thursday, the parliamentarians will draft and sign a resolution declaring their support for Israel and vowing to take a stance against racist, anti-Israel movements such as BDS.

Jewish Press Staff

Greek Minister Quits after 12 Hours in Office over Anti-Semitic Tweets

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

(JNi.media) Greek Right-wing lawmaker Dimitris Kammenos on Wednesday night resigned—over anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks—from the post of the Deputy Infrastructure Minister, a mere 12 hours after the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s new cabinet following Sunday’s snap national election.

Kammenos was accused of making fun of EU supporters last June, posting a photoshopped image of the gate of Auschwitz, with the infamous slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free) replaced with “We Stay in Europe,” on his Facebook page. At the time, the posting raised a scandal, and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece protested the callused use of the death camp to make a political point.

Kammenos later tweeted kind of an apology: “The comparison may have been unfortunate but there is an economic holocaust under way in my country!”

From the tweet itself, despite its obvious crudeness, it doesn’t appear that the shortest serving government official in recent memory is an anti-Semite. However, Kammenos has also been accused of supporting a conspiracy theory that 2,500 Jewish World Trade Center employees received an early warning and stayed home on September 11, 2001.

The inclusion of Kammenos and four other members of the Independent Greeks party Prime Minister Tsipras’s government caused an outrage in Greece. The party’s leader, Panos Kammenos, is the new defense minister.

Also last June, news came out that Kammenos had called the Athens gay pride parade “pathetic,” and other homophobic comments by him were found on his social media accounts.

The two-party coalition government has 155 seats in the 300-member Greek parliament (with 145 for left-wing Syriza and 10 for the right-wing Anel).

JNi.Media

Greece Seizes Suspected ISIS Weapons Ship Destined for Libya

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

The Greek Coast Guard may have prevented massive terrorist attacks in Libya Tuesday with the seizure of a vessel carrying explosives and weapons suspected of being linked with the Islamic State (ISIS). Greek media reported.

Authorities said more information would be released later. Initial suspicions are the that the cargo was being shipped to Libya

It is not known where the ship was loaded.

The ship was not registered in Greece,

Jewish Press News Briefs

Ben Gurion Airport Hits Peak in Passenger Traffic

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Approximately 70,000 passengers on 430 flights will have passed through Ben Gurion Airport by the end of Thursday, making it the busiest day of the year so far.

Tourism is up by approximately 7 percent, and 1.7 million passengers are expected to arrive and depart at the airport next month.

Israel suffered a sharp decline in tourism last August and September during Operation Protective Edge and now is rebounding.

Turkey, which Israel sunned two years ago after worsening relations, is back in favor and follows Greece as the favorite destination. Next in line are Italy and the year.
Slightly more than a quarter of passengers fly El Al.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Greek Foreign Minister in Israel despite Domestic Crisis

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is in Israel for a three-day visit despite the domestic crisis back home, where the Finance Minister has resigned after Sunday’s referendum on a European Union plan to bail out the debt-ridden country.

Kotzias arrived on Sunday as Greeks went to the polls and thoroughly rejected the plan.

The Foreign Minister’s visit is the first by a senior Greek official since the radical left-wing Syriza party took power.

Kotzias met with Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely and is scheduled to sit down with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, Cabinet ministers, Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog and Palestinian Authority leaders.

The Syriza party strongly backs statehood for the Palestinian Authority while maintaining good relations with Israel, but Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Kotzias’ visit has an “economic emphasis.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/greek-foreign-minister-in-israel-despite-domestic-crisis/2015/07/06/

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