Greece's protection of National Socialists, draws a whinefest from Jewish organizations
In a letter to OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Madam Dora Bakoyannis, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, expressed "outrage at the Greek authorities' indifference to last Friday's acquittal of hatemonger Kostas Plevris on charges of incitement regarding his 1,400 page antisemitic diatribe, 'The Jews - The Whole Truth'."
He recalled that, "on 16 September 2008, our Centre warned Greece that the following day's Appeal trial of the pro-Nazi publicist would pass 'a message to Greek young people on whether racism may be manifested with impunity '. We noted the irregularities reported during this ongoing legal case, including the expulsion of the plaintiff's counsel from the Court, and the Public Prosecutor who, allegedly, denoted this Nazi text as 'scientific writing'."
The letter quoted the French sociologist, Pierre-Andres Taguieff, who posited that, "if such extreme antisemitism is freedom of expression, then Jew-hatred has [perversely] become a human right," adding, on behalf of the Centre, "thus rendering the Jew as non-human".
The Centre argued that "Plevis' book unambiguously justifies violence against Jews as individuals and as a collective, on grounds of their religion, their 'Holocaust lies' (despite over 90% of Greek Jewry having perished) and the existence of the State of Israel. Since the appearance of 'The Jews - The Whole Truth', assaults on Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust monuments, throughout Greece, have increased exponentially."
See extracts from the book as quoted by the Greek Anti-Nazi Initiative (GANI) at the end of this press release. Such passages were deemed by the Court as not constituting a provocation of hate and violence, nor an insult, against Greek Jews.
GANI also noted that Plevris' defence counsil, extreme-right LA.O.S. Member of Parliament, Thanasis Plevris, stated that the call for the extermination of any people, even for the reopening of Auschwitz, was "a democratic right".
The Greek Helsinki Monitor has criticized this acquittal as a day it hoped would never come that demonstrates how "antisemitism and, more generally, racism, is deeply entrenched in Greek society, and widely tolerated".
Samuels emphasized that "the most striking feature of this outrage is the lack of protest from Greek opinion-moulders, the political parties, educators, unionists, churches, media etc. Greece has raised the bar of indifference to incitement to a new threshold, showing contempt for its commitments to the OSCE in regard to the combat of antisemitism and racism."
He continued, "Left without condemnation, this indifference makes the Greek authorities complicit in any subsequent violence against minorities and sets a disturbing challenge for all State-Parties of the OSCE region."
The Centre urged the OSCE "to call Greece to account due to its violation of the OSCE's 2004 'Berlin Declaration on Antisemitism' and other related instruments. //04.13.09 Wiesenthal Center Los Angeles