Greece has long struggled to combat anti-Semitism, and B'nai B'rith has followed the situation closely, engaging with government leaders to advocate for tolerance and help diffuse tensions.
Here are notable events from the last three years:
- ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ read aloud in Greek Parliament
- B'rith Leads Historic Three Country Mission (links here, here and here)
- B’nai B’rith Alarmed Following Success of Far-Right Parties in Greek Elections
- B’nai B’rith Meets With Greek Leaders During Opening of U.N. General Assembly Session
- B'nai B'rith Praises Greek Efforts To Curb Anti-Semitism
B'nai B'rith International was quoted in an article on JNS.org, which reflected the organization's concerns for the election outcomes.
Read excerpts from the article below:
Syriza officials have called for the end of Israel’s “brutality against Palestinians,” and Panos Kammenos—the leader of the right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL) party, with whom Syriza formed a majority coalition—garnered accusations of anti-Semitism last December for claiming that Greek Jews do not pay taxes.
Golden Dawn, an extreme-right neo-Nazi party, placed third in results that polls suggested were driven largely by voters’ economic concerns.
The Greek Jewish community consists of about 5,000 people out of the country’s total population of 11.2 million, according to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).
The community has experienced rising anti-Semitic sentiment that is correlated with both the country’s economic crisis as well as escalations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict such as last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
B’nai Brith International told JNS.org in a statement that the group is concerned by some “past statements about Israel made by [Syriza] party leaders,” but hopes “that the relationship with Israel, which had been building over the past decade in many fields, will be unaffected by the outcome.”