ADL To Prime Minister Of Greece: Forcefully Condemn Anti-Semitism

New York, NY, January 14, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the government of Greece to "publicly and forcefully condemn" an anti-Semitic arson attack against a synagogue on the island of Crete.

"It is disappointing that the Greek government has so far failed to condemn the shocking arson attack targeting a synagogue on the island of Crete," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The prime minister was forceful in condemning the recent firebomb attack aimed at the Greek Parliament, saying that 'democracy cannot be terrorized,'" said Mr. Foxman. "We would hope that, in the same spirit, he would publicly and forcefully condemn the firebomb attack on the Etz Chaim synagogue in Hania."

On January 5, a fire was intentionally set inside the historic Etz Chaim synagogue and a bar of soap left outside, presumably invoking the common Greek anti-Semitic expression, "I'll make you into a bar of soap."

ADL has written to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, urging his government to condemn anti-Semitism and to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community of Greece.

"The previous government remained silent when synagogues were attacked and Jewish cemeteries desecrated, sending a message of insecurity to the Jewish community and of impunity to those who perpetrated the attacks," the League's Mr. Foxman wrote to the prime minister. "We hope your government will change that policy and declare that anti-Semitism has no place in Greece."

Arsonists struck a second time at the synagogue over the night of January 15-16. On January 22, the Prime Minister of Greece wrote a letter to the Jewish community condeming the attack. More

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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