Jewish cemetery in Thessaloniki
Jewish cemetery in Thessalonikicourtesy of KIS

President Reuven Rivlin spoke with Greek President Prokopis Pavapoulos Monday to condemn the destruction of the monument to the Jewish community in Thessaloniki.

The monument, which was vandalized last Friday by unknown perpetrators, was erected in memory of the the Jewish community in the city who were massacred during the Holocaust. It is located at the University of Aristotle in Thessaloniki.

The marble slabs that were erected in the monument, which were taken from an old Jewish cemetery that was destroyed by the Nazis in 1942, were smashed.

This is the third time that unknown vandals have damaged the monument in the last six months, and the 16th time that a Jewish site in Greece has been vandalized since the beginning of 2018.

"This case proves that anti-Semitism is still alive and kicking and that it is still necessary to fight against it," Rivlin said in his conversation with the Greek president. "Internal political disagreements must not lead to such expressions of hatred, and we must concentrate efforts on an uncompromising war against this phenomenon."

The President thanked the President of Greece for his unequivocal condemnation of the incident last night at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in Thessaloniki, but emphasized that "the silence of the heads of the churches in Greece is very disturbing."

"Unfortunately, all the church's religious institutions in Greece are silent in the face of manifestations of anti-Semitism, as we saw yesterday," the president said, stressing that it is very important that the Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece make a public statement against anti-Semitism.