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A world Jewish organization accuses a SYRIZA candidate for governor of anti-Semitism

07 February 2014 / 13:02:38  GRReporter
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Another scandal is shaking the main opposition SYRIZA party in Greece, since it is already clear that its candidate for governor of Western Macedonia Theodoros Karypidis is not negatively disposed towards Golden Dawn and has not even tried to hide his anti-Semitic attitude. The tension related to the case is increasing despite the continuous attempts by SYRIZA to clear up the consequences from the media fuss. The story has gained worldwide publicity after the American Jewish Committee has criticized the choice of the radical left to support Karypidis’ candidacy.

The official communication of the organization states that it is "appalled by his anti-Semitic statements." "Vile, outrageous expressions of anti-Semitism in Greece are coming not only from Golden Dawn on the far right but also, as Theodoros Karypidis's Facebook post illustrates, from the far left," states Executive Director of the organization David Harris.

The reactions are due to Karypidis’ post of 15 June 2013 in which he states that the name of the new state television NERIT has Jewish roots. He wrote, "The meaning of words... and names! The new Greek TV channel will be called NERIT. This is a Jewish name for girls and in Hebrew it means a "candle" (link available - author’s note). Nerit is a derivative of Nera (link - author’s note). This name is given to girls who are born during Hanukkah... (i.e. a "candle" of the anti-Greek Hanukkah holiday...). [...] There is talk that they are preparing to appoint Papahelas director (Alexis Papahelas, a journalist in "Kathimerini" newspaper - author’s note), Bilderberg’s star. He is the most suitable for this...

Samaras is lighting the candles (Nerit) in the seven branched candelabra of the Jewish and lightning Greece on fire after his visit to Thessaloniki Synagogue (what an irony - a synagogue in the city of Alexander the Great)... He organized a new Hanukkah against the Greeks... Have a nice afternoon!"

The American Jewish Committee states that "Greece today has a Jewish population numbering approximately 5,000 in a country of 11 million, having lost the overwhelming majority of its members during the Nazi occupation of the country and deportation to the death camps."

"Whipping up hatred of Jews, for all kinds of alleged conspiracies, is an all-too-familiar and long-time tactic of political extremists with nothing constructive to offer about real-life issues facing their country. It also reveals once again that, for all their purported differences, far right and left politicians can have more in common than they might otherwise admit -- the capacity for blind hatred, bigotry and demagoguery," concludes David Harris of the American Jewish Committee.

SYRIZA did not waste time and directly accused the organization of trying to interfere in Greece’s internal affairs and of "absolutely unjustified attacks and definitions against the party which it unequivocally defines as extremist and as a party that has accepted anti-Semitism inside it." In its communication, the left wing representatives argue that the way in which the letter of the American Jewish Committee is written reminds a lot of the way of expression of New Democracy.

Despite its resounding words, SYRIZA is however seriously concerned about the scandal, especially since Theodoros Karypidis has refused to withdraw his candidacy. The criticisms by leading party officials towards the functionaries who are responsible for the particular candidacy is increasing since old anti-Semitic and nationalist publications by Karypidis, who is a journalist by profession and a broadcaster in a leading regional media in Kozani, as well as his posts that are well-disposed to Golden Dawn appear every day.

The situation has further complicated due to yesterday's decision of SYRIZA party organization in western Macedonia to stand firmly behind Karypidis’ candidacy. It is expected that later today the party will take its final decision on whether he will remain its candidate for governor of this region or not.

Tags: PoliticsSYRIZACandidateRegional governorAmerican Jewish Committeeanti-Semitism
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