Sunday, November 09, 2008

Greek national newspaper in anti-semitism row

Greek national daily, Avriani (Tomorrow) has found itself in the centre of allegations of anti-semitism over its 4th November front page headline;


“Everything changes in America which we hope will become more democratic and humane”

The paper's lead story stated that Barack Obama's recent victory in the US elections was a major setback to Jewish influence over the US government. It also claimed that Arabic finance was behind Obama's success in the presidential race over the McCain - Palin ticket who were "puppets" of the Jewish lobby.

The report has produced a strong response from Greek human rights groups and Jewish community organisations. The Greek Helsinki Monitor condemned the newspaper and accused the Greek government of indirectly supporting racism as the the front page article also featured an advertisment for the state run OPAP gaming company.

In addition the Anti-Defamation League claimed the story showed that, "anti-Semitism remains alive in Greece today» and that political leaders need to take a clear stand against hate."

It should be noted that despite the existence of legislation outlawing racist speech for nearly 30 years in Greece and numerous incidences in both the printed and electronic press there has been only one successful conviction (click here).

In 2008 the far right Eletherous Kosmos (Free World) newspaper was found guilty under article 2 of law 927/79 for publishing a column by Theodoros Hatzigogos which stated,"Thank God, less than 1500 Jews have been left in Thessaloniki." Apparently referring to the fact that the vast majority of Thessaloniki's (Greece's second city) Jewish population died in Nazi death camps during the Second World War."

This story can also be seen on

Thanks to Devious Diva and Abravanel for putting me onto this story


abravanel said...

One of my very first posts was based on one of your photos and, whether you believe it or not, it's the article with most inbound Google traffic, (just google "greek insults" and you'll get why).

The sad thing is not so much the front page itself but the complete lack of reaction. Only the Helsinki Monitor issued a statement, while everyone else remained indifferent. This included official Greek Jewry which is all too wary to rock the boat.

teacher dude said...

I've noticed that this story is gaining traction abroad. Hopefully, it will be picked up by the major media outlets and then the government will be shamed into taking action.

abravanel said...

Shamed into taking action? Like when it vehemently condemned the Rhodes Memorial desecration? Nah, I'll wait for the traditional message from the greek State Department, (I swear that it is the one that issues a statement), on greek Shoah Memorial Day.