'Zorba the Greek' composer: I’m anti-Semitic

Wiesenthal Center demands Theodorakis be stripped of International Music Prize; composer: "US Jews behind Greek economic crisis."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 15, 2011 11:36
1 minute read.
'Zorba the Greek' soundtrack

Zorba the Greek soundtrack 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Mikis Theodorakis, best known for composing the musical score to the film Zorba the Greek, recently declared on Greek television that he was “anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.” “Everything that happens today in the world has to do with the Zionists,” was one such comment. Another was “American Jews are behind the world economic crisis that has hit Greece also.” Theodorakis also blasted Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for establishing closer relations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who was guilty, he said, of “war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Tuesday reacted to Theodorakis' "obsessive anti-Jewish hatemongering." In a letter, it demanded the International Music Council (IMC) strip the Greek composer of his 2005 IMC-UNESCO International Music Prize.

The Wiesenthal Center said that the Greek composer, who penned yet another diatribe filled with anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist assertions on Monday, "offends all Jews, now including the identity of many of his predecessor awardees, such as Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Barenboim, Banny Goodman, Gidon Kremer, Yahudi Menuhin."

Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Weisenthal Center's director for international relations, said that such self-declared racists "must be scorned and marginalized. They can no longer serve as icons for their peers or for the younger generation."

Kyriakos Loukakis, the Greek ambassador in Israel, wrote in an e-mail to The Jerusalem Post on Monday, “I would like to inform you that, as a matter of principle, we do not comment on opinions of private citizens. Secondly, the Greek government has always opposed extreme views. Thirdly, relations between Greece and Israel are very friendly.”

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