New York, NY, November 15, 2011 … A party whose leaders have openly expressed anti-Semitic views has joined the new government in Greece, prompting the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to react by calling on Prime Minister Lucas Papademos "to firmly and unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism."
The League said the inclusion of the LAOS party in the government was "deeply troubling" given the history of anti-Semitic statements by its leader, Georgios Karatzaferis, and two other party officials who have been named to top government positions.
Mr. Karatzaferis has stated that, "the Jews have no legitimacy to speak in Greece and provoke the political world," and has referred to the Holocaust and the Auschwitz and Dachau death camps as "myths." He also has repeated the big lie that Jews and Israel were involved in planning and executing the 9/11 terror attacks against America.
"At a time when the new government is seeking to set a new tone in Greece, they have included a party whose leaders have openly engaged in old-fashioned anti-Semitic hatred," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Given the unmistakable anti-Semitism of the LAOS leadership, the prime minister should clearly and publicly state that his government will not tolerate any expressions of anti-Semitism by public officials and will condemn any manifestations of anti-Semitism in Greece."
ADL has written a letter to Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, calling on him to use his authority and position to speak out clearly to condemn the anti-Semitism of the LAOS leadership.
Aside from Mr. Karatzaferis, the party leader, two other LAOS officials recently appointed to positions in the new government also have a history of making anti-Jewish statements.
According to Greek sources, Makis Voridis, the Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, questioned whether the infamous anti-Semitic forgery, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," was in fact an authentic document about a global Jewish conspiracy. In a remark indicative of Holocaust denial, he also reportedly challenged the authenticity of Anne Frank's diary.
Adonis Georgiadis, the newly appointed Deputy Minister for Development, is reported to have said that "all major banks belong to the Jews" and that "the Jewish Lobby" would determine the fate of Greece's foreign debt. He has also extensively promoted an anti-Semitic screed, "The Jews, the whole truth" by Konstantinos Plevris.