Friday, April 04, 2008
Jewish community slams Greek flag insult
The historic Jewish community of Thessaloniki on Thursday issued a statement sharply condemning the recent defacing of the Greek flag in billboards put up in the city of Skopje -- the white Cross on the flag was replaced with a Swastika -- as well as a local magazine's caricature of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' dressed as an SS officer.
"The defacing of the national symbol and the attempt to depict the Greek prime minister to a Nazi officer constitute unacceptable actions and an insult to the Greek people as a whole including members of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki," the statement reads, days after the billboard posters appeared -- and subsequently disappeared -- in the capital of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
The statement adds that these actions become more heinous because Greece was among the first countries in Europe to clash with the tide fascism and the first to defeat Axis Forces on the battlefield in WWII, referring to the Albanian front (1940-1941), "where Jewish and Christian Greeks fought side by side."
"Furthermore, the use -- for the sake of creating impressions -- of symbols that are directly linked with the period of the worst crimes committed against humanity is an insult to the memory of the six million victims of the Holocaust and those who survived the horror of the Nazi concentration camps," the statement reads.
"Our Community welcomes the stance adopted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a descendant of the Mallah family from Thessaloniki, who backed Greece's positions on the self-evident Greekness of Macedonia," the statement concludes.