“…don’t provoke the Greek folk“ (13.08.2006)

(When the masks fall… part two)

After the non-desecration of the Monument for the Jews of Thessalonica murdered by the Nazis follows the non-protest against the Israeli community.

The KKE and the PAME have answered the condemnation by the Israeli community of the Monument’s desecration with a publication well suited to their deed: “it wasn’t desecration!” come their heartfelt cries. Not only do they declare that the condemnation of their act by the [Israeli] community is a “provocation,” which “directly injures the righteous democratic feelings of the Greek folk” (we won’t go into the question as to what can happen when the feelings of the Greek folk are hurt, as this is generally well known), but also announce that it is the [Israeli] community that belongs in the dock because it was actually the community who desecrated the Monument: “those who desecrated the monument are all those who remain silent, or who in fact support the bestiality of Israel and the imperialists against the peoples of the middle east”[1] (Rizopastis, 4.8.2006).

To put this straight, once and for all, whether the PAME and all the PAMEs together, whether the central and the de-central committees, their fans or their opponents decide that it was a desecration or not, is of no interest to us whatsoever, it is irrelevant, it does not play a roll, it has absolutely no place! The only thing which interests us, and the only thing which is relevant to our stance and behaviour, are the impressions and the feelings of the survivors and their descendants. It according to this single exclusive criteria that we judge this sort of act. Everything else is  merely cheap bric-a-brac in a summer sale.

As emphatically as the KKE insists that, with respect to their anti-Zionistic tirade, they are doing their duty to oppose war, so bluntly do they show the ugly face of anti-Semitism.  This is sufficiently demonstrated by their demand that Greek citizens of Jewish descent should “bare witness” to the war inLebanon .

The problem has two sides: on the one hand they want to suppress how strongly their current anti-war stance which should commit them to condemn Zionism contrasts with their fervent attempts to avoid injuring the pride of  Greek patriots in times of war mongering nationalistic outcry in Greece (for example, during the Macedonian question, or the Imia crisis where the “Turks” dared to steal a goat from a rock).

On the other hand the division which they make for the citizens of Greek territory, namely between an “outraged Greek folk” and “the Jews who remain silent” (and who are the target of this outrage) follows nothing other than the logic of a pure nationalistic excess. On top of this the comparison of the events in Lebanon with the Holocaust, that is, the equivocation of an act of war with the systematic, methodical destruction of 6,000,000 people in the gas chambers and elsewhere, indicates not that the KKE have not managed to attentively read the history of mankind, but rather that they are prepared to commit themselves to a new anti-Jewish pogrom.

The act has been interpreted by the whole of the left, by the whole of Greek society as a legitimate outrage against “the crimes of Israel ” and so forth (in the best case, they aren’t interested.) As is generally known the Israeli community is the highest power in Israel and Greek Jews  are citizens of another country. So, and only so, can the title of the newspaper Kathimerini‘s article reporting the reaction of the community: “The placards from PAME: The Israeli reaction”[2] be explained.

So, and only so, can the instinctual utterances about the “Jews” made in the leftwing organisation NAR’s (an offshoot of the KKE) newspaper, dated 6.8.2006, with the opening title “The Jewish Murderers must pay” be understood. It appears that different Greek leftwing groups are at the moment trying to outbid one another with anti-Semitic slogans of annihilation[3], targeted against those who have always been stigmatized as the root of all evil.

And the others, all those with their research, their historical analyses, their articles, their grandiose commentaries about Hebraism, anti-Semitism and so on? Not a word of solidarity, a suspicious silence (the rare persons who have held their position in an extremely hostile environment and deserve our full respect, will remain the glowing  exception in a society saturated in anti-Semitic poison).

And so, a week later, the perpetrators, cheered on by the neighbourhood took the next step in their revolutionary process: On 8.8.2006, at the demonstration against the war in Lebanon, in the alleys from Chirs, where the offices of the Israeli community are to be found, the demonstrators stuck their placards on the entrance to the office and demonstrated against the community because they “have still not issued any word about the bestiality of the Israeli Government”[4] and so on.

If the first deed was a desecration then the second was disgusting: Yes, our blood runs cold at the thought that quite possibly … people from the community, … forced to stay in their rooms … the shutters closed …; below the masses shouting, raving …; even if they cover their ears, in vain as the shouts of the outraged citizens on the street pierce their brains …; they must wait until the pack moves on so that they can safely return home…; hoping that the situation won’t escalate …; and these damned memories, that even after 60 years refuse to go away …

13 August 2006

Café Morgenland                       

Terminal 119 – for social and individual autonomy

[1] www.rizospastis.gr/storyPlain.do?id=3489133

[2] http://news.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_220602_03/08/2006_193088

[3] After Auschwitz anti-Semitism is the same as annihilation. It forbids all other interpretations.

[4] „… there followed a fierce demonstration in the centre of Thessalonica. The way was opened by the Palestines with photos of victims of Israeli brutality in their hands and a star on their back (like the ones that the Nazis used to stigmatize the Jews)  and complained that those who were then victims have now become perpetrators. The first port of call for the demonstration was the French embassy where a delegation from the organisers fixed photos showing crimes against civilians and children. They did the same at the entrance to the building where the American embassy is to be found, and then later in the Chirs alley where the offices of the Israeli community are, who have still not issued any word about the bestiality of the Israeli Government “ (9 August, Rizopastis)


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