The head of radical leftist Syriza coalition, Alexis Tsipras, waves while leaving the party headquarters after winning the elections in Athens..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The radical left-wing Syriza party which appears to be the winner of Sunday’s general elections in Greece and has has promised to stop with austerity and defy the European institutions, is also widely viewed as having a clear anti-Israel stance which has promised to “cancel” austerity and defy the European institutions.
The party’s 40-year-old leader, Alexis Tsipras, said the vote would mark “the return of dignity” to Greece. His party was expected to get between 36% and 39% of the popular vote compared to between 23% and 27% for the conservative New Democracy party of outgoing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Syriza’s ranks include an array of leftists ranging from Marxists to Greens.
The party has constantly identified itself with the Palestinian cause and its program includes a demand for abolition of Greece’s military cooperation with Israel and the support for the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. Israel and Greece have enjoyed a strong relationship and cooperation since 2008 in several aspects of military, intelligence, economy and culture.
Alexis Tsipras’ party colleagues and his own inner circle have repeatedly attacked Israel and the "Zionistsת" claiming that they are not anti-Semitic, just ''anti-Zionist.'' Syriza's former head, Nikos Konstandopoulos, has consistently offered his services as a defense lawyer for convicted and alleged Arab terrorists who have been arrested in Greece.
Last year, Tsipras stated that ‘’the world should make every possible effort so that Israel ends its criminal attack and brutality against Palestinians.’’
“Seeing Israel killing children in Palestine is unacceptable. We should unite our voices and forces so as to live in peace, expressing our solidarity to the Palestinian people,” he said during a march in Athens against Israel's Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza last summer.
“When civilians and children are killed at beaches facing the same sea that borders on the European continent, we cannot remain passive, because if this happens on the other side of the Mediterranean today, it can happen on our own side tomorrow,'' he said.
In another development, first election results also showed that the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party would be winning between 6 and 8 % of the votes.
The party’s leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos and five other outgoing lawmakers are behind bars, accused of being part of a criminal group that attacks immigrants and leftists, after a party supporter stabbed a prominent left-wing rapper in 2013.
In its manifesto, Golden Dawn, among the furthest parties to the right on Europe’s political spectrum, argues all illegal immigrants should be rounded up, detained and sent home. The party members have been seen doing Nazi-style salutes.