The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Jewish Cemetery Desecrated

Via the Athens News

Vandals desecrated a Jewish cemetery in the Thessaloniki on the night of May 13 and three youths were arrested for the attack, authorities said on May 14. The assailants smeared graffiti in the cemetery, police said. The Central Jewish Council of Greece said the perpetrators were neo-Nazis who spraypainted anti-Semitic slogans and swastikas on the cemetery walls and destroyed graves. “The government strongly condemns this act of vandalism and police launched an immediate investigation,” government spokesman Yiorgos Petalotis said. In a separate incident, the Jewish Holocaust monument in Rhodes was also vandalised. The vandals destroyed the Star of David and cracked one side of the granite monument. Local police are seeking the perpetrators.

20 Comments

  1. Traveller
    June 4, 2010    

    ___________

    he Central Jewish Council of Greece said the perpetrators were neo-Nazis who spraypainted anti-Semitic slogans and swastikas on the cemetery walls and destroyed graves.
    ___________

    So The Central Jewish Council of Greece knows who did it. I’m not surprised.

  2. June 5, 2010    

    What are you implying Traveller. I would have thought it was obvious to anyone that it was neo-nazis who did this. That’s what they do, spray swastikas and anti-semitic slogans. It doesn’t mean they actually know which neo-nazi did it.

  3. Cinzano
    June 5, 2010    

    DD,
    “I would have thought it was obvious to anyone that it was neo-nazis who did this.”

    Don’t jump to conclusions. You don’t have any evidence about who did this. The last time you insinuated that Greeks were responsible for an attack on a synagogue in Crete it turned out that a couple of our own countrymen i.e. Brits and two Americans were responsible for the attack.

    “Two British nationals, aged 23 and 33, are in custody, while another two suspects, both US citizens, are wanted.”

    http://deviousdiva.com/2010/01/18/synagogue-attacked-again/

    But who needs evidence when your sole aim is to constantly show southern Europeans in a bad light. Your whole blog is committed to factless, anti-Southern European propaganda and perpetuates the offensive stereotypes that some people have of southern Europeans.

    Your latest attempt to apportion blame on “anti-Semitic Greeks” for an incident which you have little evidence for, further reinforces the fact that you are prejudiced against the Greek people. Your immediate reaction to this anti-Semitic attack is that it was carried out by Greeks, this is prejudiced.
    You are prejudiced against southern Europeans, Greeks in particular. This is a real shame since you regard them as your “friends”. You hold some rather unsavoury prejudices against your so-called “friends”….

  4. June 5, 2010    

    I said neo-nazis did this. I did not say they were Greek. I also reported that it was British and americans that carried out the other attacks on the synagogue. I suspect it is you who is jumping to conclusions about me, Cinzano.

    This is about anti-semitism. Attacks on Greek Jews. I think it’s important to post about them.

  5. Cinzano
    June 6, 2010    

    “I said neo-nazis did this”.

    Where’s your proof? The last time an anti-Semitic incident occured, it was two Brits and two Americans who were responsible.

    You’re just trying to insinuate that Greece has a neo-Nazi “problem” by posting article after article of unproven “neo-Nazi” attacks.
    Just post the article if you have to. No need to add your tuppence worth of unproven “facts” and your reinforcing the stereotypes of “anti-Semitic Greek neo nazis”……

  6. gurmit
    June 6, 2010    

    Nobody knows for sure, but whoever did this probably was a neo-Nazi or more than one of them, maybe from Greece, maybe from Britian or American or somewhere else. A non-neo-Nazi would have no motive for attacking a Jewish cemetry in Greece unless he or she were an insane person who just went around attacking graves in general (likelihood of that, probably next to zero). I am sure the Greek police probably suspect neo-Nazis too. What I found surprising when I first heard it, I think just last year, was that in Toronto the police said the largest number of hate crimes was against Jews even though Toronto is very multi-cultural and Jews by no means have the highest population among its minorities. Most are also not a visible minority though there are parts of town where one can see a lot of Orthodox Jews with the men with black hats and long curls and women with the long dresses and kerchiefs on their heads. I always loved going there and never saw Jewish people like that in BC. My brother is an orthodox Sikh and when he first when to Toronto to do his master’s degree he had a lot of trouble finding a place to rent in spite of these two non-Sikh women (whose daughter and neiece went to BC to study and was renting a place from us) going with him to help him hunt until they started hitting apartments owned by Jewish people, who didn’t discriminate against anyone according to these Toronto ladies.

  7. Cinzano
    June 6, 2010    

    DD,

    “Why not British and American? They are still neo-nazis.”

    Where is your proof that the two Brits and Americans who attacked the synagogue in Crete were neo-nazis? Jumping to conclusions again?

    The people who attack Jewish synagogues or cemeteries are not necessarily “neo-nazis”. There are many people who vandalise Jewish buildings/monuments primarily because they are against Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians. Nothing to do with being neo-nazis. Look at the British example:

    “Today’s anti-semitism is a wave of hatred, intimidation and abuse against British Jews, who are stupidly blamed and randomly attacked over international tensions for which they bear no responsibility. It is clear that the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah in Lebanon had a significant impact on figures. It is disappointing that there was an increase in spite of efforts to prevent it.”
    http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/feb2007/anti_semitic.html

    Let’s not automatically blame anti-Semitic attacks on “neo-Nazis”. There are a number of different groups of people who carry out these attacks so let’s not jump to conclusions about who did it until you have HARD EVIDENCE.

    Stop insinuating that Greece has a “neo-nazi” problem. The unfortunate truth is that there are many ordinarily law-abiding people around the world who are reacting violently against Israeli policy in the Middle East by carrying out misguided anti-Semitic attacks.

  8. June 6, 2010    

    When I hear/see the word “neo-nazi”, I do not jump to the conclusion that they must be Greek. There are neo-nazis of many different nationalities. Unlike you it seems, Cinzano, when it turned out that the neo-nazis in a previous attack were British and American neo-nazis, I was not shocked or surprised. Why not British and American? They are still neo-nazis. They desecrated Jewish graves with swastikas and anti-semitic slogans. What else would you call them?

  9. gurmit
    June 6, 2010    

    There are a lot of people against Isreali policy towards Palestinians, including myself, but one would really have to be motivated and not quite in accord with following laws to sneak around and go to the effort of desecrating graves, especially in Greece where the Jewish population is quite tiny. It is one thing to criticize Israeli policy and quite another to desecrate graves. I certainly can’t imagine any Palestinians or even any other Moslems doing this for they don’t seem to be people who would hide their identity using Nazi symbols. Whatever they do, they do quite openly for they are not cowardly people. It is great that under a new leader a lot of Palestinians are doing peaceful things like just sitting in rows before Israeli tanks for they seem to have recognized that the fighting stance just won’t get them anywhere. I have heard these things unnerve Israel . Only peace will work in their case for they just don’t have the military strength to fight Israel and the U.S. Hopefully, there will be a solution soon.

  10. Cinzano
    June 6, 2010    

    Gurmit,

    Are you seriously suggesting that non-neo nazi groups such as Muslims and anti-Israel activists do not commit violent attacks against Jewish targets? You’ll find that the MAJORITY of anti-semitic attacks are carried out by Muslims and non-neo nazi groups, especially during time of heightened tension such as the Flotilla incident or Lebanon war.

    “The number of anti-Semitic attacks around the world during Israel’s three-week offensive against Hamas in Gaza (Jan 2009) soared more than 300 percent compared to the same period the previous year, according to figures released by the Israeli Global Forum Against Anti-Semitism.
    The majority of the incidents were carried out by local Muslims in Western Europe, with France and Britain responsible for 100 each.”

    http://www.wildolive.co.uk/anti-semitism.htm

    Just because you find a Swastika painted on a vandalised Jewish cemetery, it doesn’t mean that it was painted by neo-nazis. In fact, the swastika is often used by non-neo Nazi groups and anti-Israel activists to express their belief that Israeli policy towards Palestine resembles Hitler’s policy towards the Jews.

    According to a Tel Aviv university study, anti-Semitic attacks have risen mainly in France, Britain and Canada, which are home to large Muslim populations.

    Physical attacks on Jews occurred mainly on streets and in educational institutions. About 180 people, including children and teenagers, reported such assaults, saying they were mainly attacked by Muslims.

    So, let’s not automatically accuse neo-nazis for anti-Semitic attacks especially when you don’t have any evidence and especially when the statistics show that anti-Semitic attacks usually come from non-neo-nazi groups, especially during times of heightened tension.

    But i’m not surprised that DD has jumped to another conclusion to perpetuate the idea that Greece has a “neo-Nazi” problem. Shows a real prejudice coming through on her part when she doesn’t even wait for evidence. She just assumes that it was Greece’s neo-Nazis at it again.

  11. The Verve
    June 6, 2010    

    The desecration of any cemetery, regardless of religious affiliation is a terrible & barbaric act. At this point in time we really don’t know who did it and can only make assumptions. I hope the perpetrators are caught and brought to book. I am confident in the knowledge that 99.9% of Greeks, whether they live in Greece or a part of the diaspora do not harbour hatred towards Jewish folks. In fact most of us in the diaspora tend to live in coutries where there is also a significant Jewish diaspora. From what I’ve seen our two communities get along just great and many friendships have been forged.

    The average Greek in Greece may not have had the opportunity to meet a Greek Jew because there are so few. This means that there is probably very little dialogue going on between Greeks & Greek Jews whereby friendships can be made and ideas & concerns can be exchanged. However I don’t believe this is reason enough to cause the average Greek to do something so shameless to a Jewish cemetery. I’m not discounting the possibility that a Greek might have done it but it simply isn’t something most Greeks would ever want to do.

  12. Cinzano
    June 6, 2010    

    The Verve,
    Well said. Unfortunately, whenever there is an anti-Semitic attack in Greece, some people immediately assume it was carried out by Greek ultra right-wing groups and never miss an opportunity to perpetuate offensive stereotypes on their blog.

    Yes, of course there are anti-Semitic Greeks in Greece. Yes, of course there are neo-Nazis in Greece. No, we can’t assume that every anti-Semtic attack is carried out by these groups and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions when you don’t have any evidence.

    The statistics show that Muslims are responsible for MOST anti-Semitic attacks in Europe but when you’re prejudiced against Greeks you immediately think it’s Greeks that are to blame.

  13. pj
    June 6, 2010    

    From the Central Jewish Council of Greece website, here is an article (only in Greek unfortunately) with some pictures of the desecrated cemetary (click to enlarge). The Greek says “Burn the Jews”.

  14. Cinzano
    June 6, 2010    

    If you read only DD’s blog, you’d be under the impression that Greeks are the most anti-Semitic people on earth. It’s a good job that there are books and journals out there which give a more balanced view and refutes the “evidence” and stereotypes presented on irresponsible blogs such as this.

    In her book, Manifestations of Antisemitism in the EU,
    Misha Glenny writes that Greek Jews had never “encountered anything remotely as sinister as north European anti-Semitism”.
    Look it up on Wikipedia….

    I wonder if pj and DD ever cared to research anti-Semitism when they were living in the UK. …It’s only when they moved abroad did they suddenly have an urge to research these issues and criticise the backward southern Europeans….

  15. pj
    June 7, 2010    

    Corrections, clarification and context…

    “Manifestations of Antisemitism in the EU” is not a book by Misha Glenny. It appears to be an unpublished report:
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/report_index.html

    The report attributes many attacks on Jewish monuments in Europe to Muslims and Muslim sympathisers. It makes no such claim, however, in respect of Greece. I would be interested to know if there is any evidence that such attacks are being committed in Greece by Muslims and anti-Israel activists rather than neo-Nazis.

    In the extract quoted from “The Balkans: nationalism, war and the great powers 1804-1999”, Misha Glenny is talking about the Jews in Greece in 1940.

    Misha Glenny is male.

  16. gurmit
    June 7, 2010    

    Cinzano,

    I am not saying Palestinian or other Moslem people against Israeli policy do not carry out anti-Semitic attacks. Sure they do. It is just that I think that they would not use swastikas but just do it in their own name or the name of their group or whatever without denying their hatred. I have even heard and read that there are Moslem people who deny the holocaust and that at least one Moslem country has given sanctuary to a Nazi war criminal due to hatred of Israel with the attitude that the enemy of our enemy is our friend. However, they seem to do this very openly, no hiding, no pretending to be anyone else, or disguising their anger or hatred. A lot of times they come across very badly because of this tendancy to show off their hostility or aggression. I personally would believe that the people the Greek police suspect of having done it or the people the Jewish community in Greek believes it to be.

    I agree with Verve that most Greeks would never desecrate anyone’s grave. I think most people in the world wouldn’t for it is just such a horrible thing to do to disrespect someone like that. I also can’t believe critics of Israeli policy who are ordinarily law abiding could do it either. Anyway, I hope that the people/person who did it gets/get caught and punished to the fullest extent of Greek law. At the end of the day what matters is that they did it not why they did it.

  17. gurmit
    June 7, 2010    

    Cinzano,

    You’ve made me quite curious about the anti-Semitism in Canada. There has been quite a rise in it recently, a five fold rise, and over a hundred incidents a years, a lot of them threats over the internet. There aren’t that many Jews in Canada. There are about 350,000 in a population of about 33 million, so just a wee bit over 1%.

    I know in the past, Canada as a country was racist towards Jews. For example, after WWII Jewish refugees were discriminated against from the highest levels of government while Nazis were let in quite deliberately (for instance, it was known that they had a tatoo in their armpits but that wasn’t checked on purpose). Not too long ago, there was an official inquiry into all this that revealed a lot, and I read it. McGill university, a top university still, required Jews to have a ten percent higher average than Gentiles for admission even in the 1940’s. Even so, the Jewish people were the highest educated group in Canada. Even when they were in the ghettos in Europe, Jewish people were better educated than their Gentile counterparts.

    While I don’t approve of Israeli policy, or at least not all of it, towards Palestinians, (and not all Jews do either). I think Jewish people are just great. They are very successful in Canada, for instance a lot of the big law firms in Ontario belong to Jewish people. They are hard working, intelligent, law abiding people who contribute a lot to the country. My brother often used to be approached by Jewish men and women in Toronto for he sticks out even among baptized Sikhs due to the denomination he is in (both men and women dress as seventeenth century Sikh warriors with dark blue robes and a different type of turban that often gets adorned with weapons too). A lot of the Jewish people who stopped him would tell him about their own religious practices too. Quite intriguing stuff. For instance, some Orthodox Jewish women wear wigs rather than scarves or things like that to carry out a religious rule to cover their hair, but it doesn’t look like anything except their own natural hair. Some of course do wear cloth head coverings.

  18. gurmit
    June 7, 2010    

    Cinzano,

    You’ve made me quite curious about the anti-Semitism in Canada. There has been quite a rise in it recently, a five fold rise, and over a hundred incidents a years, a lot of them threats over the internet. There aren’t that many Jews in Canada. There are about 350,000 in a population of about 33 million, so just a wee bit over 1%.

    I know in the past, Canada as a country was racist towards Jews. For example, after WWII Jewish refugees were discriminated against from the highest levels of government while Nazis were let in quite deliberately (for instance, it was known that they had a tatoo in their armpits but that wasn’t checked on purpose). Not too long ago, there was an official inquiry into all this that revealed a lot, and I read it. McGill university, a top university still, required Jews to have a ten percent higher average than Gentiles for admission even in the 1940’s. Even so, the Jewish people were the highest educated group in Canada. Even when they were in the ghettos in Europe, Jewish people were better educated than their Gentile counterparts.

    While I don’t approve of Israeli policy, or at least not all of it, towards Palestinians, (and not all Jews do either). I think Jewish people are just great. They are very successful in Canada, for instance a lot of the big law firms in Ontario belong to Jewish people. They are hard working, intelligent, law abiding people who contribute a lot to the country. My brother often used to be approached by Jewish men and women in Toronto for he sticks out even among baptized Sikhs due to the denomination he is in (both men and women dress as seventeenth century Sikh warriors with dark blue robes and a different type of turban that often gets adorned with weapons too). A lot of the Jewish people who stopped him would tell him about their own religious practices too. Quite intriguing stuff. For instance, some Orthodox Jewish women wear wigs rather than scarves or things like that to carry out a religious rule to cover their hair, but it doesn’t look like anything except their own natural hair. Some of course do wear cloth head coverings.

  19. gurmit
    June 8, 2010    

    Hi Cinzano,

    Here is a report on anti-Semitic incidents in Canada by a Jewish group of 2009, the latest audit I believe. The amount of anti-Semitism activity and some of the types of incidents are absolutely dreadful, over a 1000 incidents including people refusing to serve Jews in shops, targeting them in their own homes, violence, and threats. The incidents do go up during major Israeli army actions against Palestine but also during Jewish holy days. It seems like Canadian Jewish people fear the most violence from Moslems although there is always a danger from skinhead, etc. activity too (not too long ago a Jewish person was actually killed by skinheads and in April of this year a Moslem chased a Jewish person and his friend with a machete after swearing at Jews,etc.). 97 attacks were from Moslems who identified themselves as such. Jewish students have been attacked in universities during something called “Israel Apartheid Week.” Police intervention was even required against a mob in one case. This event should be banned if it causes such attacks against Jewish students for their safety is more important than any event. The neo-Nazis are disgusting people and so are the anti-Israeli people who chase Jews with machetes or do other things to them.

  20. gurmit
    June 8, 2010    

    Oops, I forgot to put up the link.

    http://bnaibrith.ca/files/audit2009/MAINAUDITENG.pdf

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