Incoming Greek PM Papademos 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Vidal)
Israel remains mum about the inclusion of an extreme-right-wing party headed by
a Holocaust denier in the new provisional Greek government, even as key Jewish
organizations abroad are publicly speaking out about the matter.
Anti-Defamation League issued a statement Tuesday calling on new Greek Prime
Minister Lucas Papaedemos “to firmly and unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism,”
after the far-right Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party whose leaders have a
record of anti-Semitic statements was brought into the ruling coalition as a
New Greek PM sworn inStocks, euro slide amid Greece EU bailout doubts'Israel taking advantage of Greece's economic situation'
A similar statement was issued by the American Jewish
Committee last week.
According to sources in Jerusalem, Israel is not
publicly commenting on the matter so as not to create problems for the small
Greek Jewish community of 5,000, which since 2010 has seen the torching of two
synagogues – one in Corfu and the other in Crete – and the desecration of a
Holocaust memorial in Salonika. The sources pointed out that the Greek Jewish
community itself has not related to the LAOS issue, preferring to keep a low
profile on the matter.
According to the ADL, LAOS leader Georgios
Karatzaferis has said “the Jews have no legitimacy to speak in Greece and
provoke the political world,” and has referred to the Holocaust, Auschwitz and
Dachau as “myths.” He also claimed Jews and Israel were involved in planning and
executing the 9/11 terror attacks against America.
Karatzaferis played an
important role in the formation of the government, which was set up last week to
extricate the country from its debt crisis.
“At a time when the new
government is seeking to set a new tone in Greece, they have included a party
whose leaders have openly engaged in old-fashioned anti-Semitic hatred,” said
Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director. “Given the unmistakable anti-Semitism
of the LAOS leadership, the prime minister should clearly and publicly state
that his government will not tolerate any expressions of anti-Semitism by public
officials and will condemn any manifestations of anti- Semitism in
The ADL said the party’s newly appointed minister of
infrastructure, transport and networks, Makis Voridis, has questioned whether
the forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
was in fact an authentic
document about a global Jewish conspiracy.
The ADL statement also stated
that Adonis Georgiadis – the newly appointed deputy minister for development –
is reported to have said that “all major banks belong to the Jews” and that “the
Jewish Lobby” would determine the fate of Greece’s foreign debt.
party has only 16 seats in Greece’s 300-seat parliament. It now has one
minister, as well as two alternative ministers and two deputy ministers in the
new government. It is one of only three parties in the coalition, the others
being George Papandreou’s socialist PASOK party and the conservative New
Democracy party of Antonis Samaras, which together control 237 seats. While LAOS
was not needed to build the coalition, its inclusion is widely believed to be an
attempt to garner as much support as possible for the painful austerity steps
Greece is expected to take in the coming months.