Greek Jews to hold silent protest against antisemitism

Members of the Greek Jewish community and Greek government officials and public figures will protest this Sunday against the desecration of a Jewish cemetery near Athens discovered on May 6.

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“The World Jewish Congress abhors the despicable and cowardly act of desecrating Jewish property and stands firmly with the local Jewish community," said WJC CEO Robert Singer in a press release, adding that "every citizen of Greece deserves the full protection of its government. We thank Athens Mayor Giorgis Kaminis for publicly condemning this anti-Semitic act, and urge other politicians and authorities to follow suit."

Before World War II, Greece was home to large and vibrant Jewish communities, especially in Athens and Thessaloniki. These communities were largely destroyed by the Nazis after the German occupation of Greece in April 1941.

Jewish life in Greece still flourishes, but the emergence of the Radical Right Golden Dawn party, which is often described as a neo-Nazi party, is a cause of growing concern.

President Reuven Rivlin visited the Holocaust monument in Thessaloniki during a state visit in February and spoke out against renewed antisemitism, extremism, racism and neo-Nazism.