Daily Israel Report
Show More

OpEds


Greek Jews Apprehensive Over Rise of Neo-Nazi Party

Following the election of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party to parliament, Greece's Jewish community urged fellow citizens to oppose fascism.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 5/9/2012, 2:20 PM

leader of Golden Dawn
leader of Golden Dawn
Reuters

Greece's Jewish community expressed alarm following the election of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party to parliament and warned their fellow citizens to oppose the return of fascism.

The extreme-right political party, whose logo closely resembles a swastika, received seven percent of the vote, twice the minimum threshold level required to send representatives to parliament, giving them 21 parliament seats out of 300.

The militant, ultra-nationalist, party seeks to restore national pride to Greece and expel foreigners. The party campaigned heavily on an anti-immigrant platform under the slogan "so we can rid this land of filth."

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued a statement on Tuesday saying that it believed that "the May 6 election of those nostalgic for fascism and Nazism was a serious blow for Greek democracy."

"We are confident that our fellow citizens, the democratic forces in the Greek Parliament, the media and the spirit and culture of the people will continue to strive to combat racism, intolerance and anti-Semitism," the statement read.

"We all have a duty to preserve our dignity, and preserve the principles of liberty, democracy and humanity," the statement added.

“Right now, Golden Dawn is not coming out against Jews,” said the president of the Greek Jewish community in Salonika. “Instead, it attacks immigrants. Still, there are right-wing extremists, and we need to assess the situation and see how Greece’s democracy will deal with this. There is no reason for worry.” 

Its manifesto says that the party would tolerate religious freedom “except in cases that affect national interest and undermine Hellenism.”

Furthermore, the party openly displays copies of “Mein Kampf,” as well as other works on Greek racial superiority at party headquarters.

The party symbol has been found at the sites of anti-Semitic attacks in the past.