‘Economy alone can’t explain Golden Dawn rise’

President of Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece calls nationalist faction a "neo-Nazi party."

April 18, 2013 04:13
1 minute read.
President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece David Saltiel.

David Saltiel 370. (photo credit: Sam Sokol)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Economic factors alone cannot explain the meteoric rise of the far-right Golden Dawn party, David Saltiel, president of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

Speaking with the Post at the 2013 International Forum of the newly established Israeli Jewish Congress, Saltiel said the nationalist faction is a “neo-Nazi party” and that it is impossible to say that people voted for Golden Dawn “because of the economic situation.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

However, Saltiel added, “people are against the [mainstream] parliamentarians” because of persistent corruption scandals and that there were many such grievances of which the Golden Dawn took advantage.

The fiscal austerity package accepted by Greece in exchange for a bailout by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in the wake of the global recession has caused widespread discontent in Greece, easing the way for the Golden Dawn’s entrance into Parliament in 2012 when it won 18 out of 300 seats.

Jews in Greece and around the world must take the Golden Dawn seriously, the community leader said, because “when you leave [anti-Semitism] alone it grows.”

Calling the Golden Dawn racist and a party of “Holocaust deniers,” Saltiel added that while he believes that “the Greek government and the Greeks did not understand quickly what a neo- Nazi party means,” after efforts by local Jews the government is “taking steps.”

“Such is the law, that if you speak against the Jews, if you are Holocaust deniers, if you are a racist then the law is very severe and you have to be punished,” Saltiel said.

During a commemoration for the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the Jews of Thessaloniki in March, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced that he plans on cracking down on the Golden Dawn and will push for a bill “completely intolerant to violence and racism.”

However, Saltiel found an unexpected upside to the rise of the Golden Dawn party, telling the Post that the “Zionist movement is once again active [and] we have a lot of Greek young boys and girls coming to study in Israel. They want to stay in Israel.”

Related Content

US President Donald Trump reacts to a question during an interview with Reuters in the Oval Office o
August 21, 2018
Trump vows 'no concessions' with Turkey over detained U.S. pastor