Theodoros Pangalos 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The deputy prime minister of Greece has sent back to the Israeli Embassy in Athens three bottles of wine given to him as a gift, because they were produced in the Golan, which "belongs to Syria" and is "illegally occupied."
The embassy had given the wine to Theodoros Pangalos - MP for the socialist party PASOK and responsible also for co-ordination of the foreign policy and defense committee in the Greek government - as a gift for the Christmas holidays with the wishes of Israel's ambassador to Greece, Ali Yihiye.
In a letter sent to the embassy with the returned wine, Pangalos said he was taught not to steal and not to accept products of theft.
"I have been taught since I was very young not to steal and not to accept products of theft," he wrote. "So I cannot possibly accept this gift and I must return it back to you.
"As you know, your country occupies illegally the Golan Heights who belong to Syria
, according to the international law and numerous decisions of the international community," Pangalos added.
Referring to atrocities that occurred during the Second World War and the Balkan War, the socialist MP said: "Actions such as those of these days of the Israel military in Gaza remind the Greek people of holocausts such as in Kalavrita or Doxato or Distomo and certainly in the ghetto of Warsaw."
While he called for an end to Hamas's terrorist activities, he compared Israel's action in Gaza to Nazi Germany's army.
"I take the opportunity to express my hope that Israel will find security into its internationally recognized borders and the terrorist activities against Israel territory by Hamas or anybody else will be contained and made impossible, but I also hope that your government will cease practicing the policy of collective punishment, which was applied on a mass scale by Hitler and his armies."