ADL Says Greek Composer's Unrepentant Anti-Semitism Does Not Deserve Olympic Honor
New York, NY, August 30, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed "shock, anger and disbelief" over the International Olympic Committee's awarding of the Olympiart Prize to Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, an unrepentant anti-Semite who has never apologized for his bigoted statements.
Perhaps best known for his score for "Zorba the Greek," Mr. Theodorakis has in recent years called Israel "the root of evil" and compared the State of Israel to the Nazi regime. In an interview last week, he repeated many of those sentiments while conjuring up gross anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews being greedy, secretive, controlling and hungry for wealth and power.
"It is incomprehensible that the International Olympic Committee has conferred a prize that recognizes values of harmony and peace on an unrepentant anti-Semite who makes no apologies for his views," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The awarding of the Olympiart Prize to Mikis Theodorakis is contrary to the Olympic spirit of peace, freedom, understanding and equality among nations."
In an interview published August 27 in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Mr. Theodorakis again put his anti-Semitic views on display. "While professing to be a friend of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, Mr. Theodorakis repeatedly compared the State of Israel to the Nazis and perpetuated innumerable anti-Semitic stereotypes, all under the guise of criticism of current Israeli policies," said Mr. Foxman.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.