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US State Dept concerned over rising anti-Semitism & racism after Golden Dawn in Parliament

US State Department expressed concern about rising anti-Semitism and racism after the election of extreme-right Golden Dawn to the Greek Parliament in June 2012. In its annual report “International Religious Freedom for 2012”, released on May 20th 2013, the State Department notes among others that “immigrants and refugees fall victim of harassment and violent attacks”, while “some members of the Greek Orthodox Church support Golden Dawn”. It asks Greece to take measures.

Below some excerpts from the US State Department report on Greece:

Golden Dawn

The election of extreme right Golden Dawn members to Greece’s Parliament led to an increased expression of anti-Semitism in Greece in 2012.

Members of Golden Dawn, a political party openly espousing anti-Semitism and racism and linked to violent attacks against individuals perceived to be immigrants were elected to parliament.

The Greek government publicly condemned some anti-Semitic and racist incidents, though observers called on the authorities to do more to counter hate speech and the violent actions of Golden Dawn members.

There are reports of harassment and increasingly violent physical attacks against individuals perceived to be immigrants and refugees, many of whom were Muslim.

Anti-Semiticm

Expressions of anti-Semitism increased after voters elected members of Golden Dawn to parliament.

Golden Dawn’s official newspaper attacked the teaching of the Holocaust in schools and, on the occasion of a visit by the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, stated that the Jewish lobby and Zionism conspired against Greek wealth.

Some members of the Greek Orthodox clergy condemned violent attacks against immigrants, while others expressed their support for Golden Dawn.

Discrimination
Members of non-Orthodox religious groups reported incidents of societal discrimination. Members of the Muslim minority in Thrace were underrepresented in public sector employment, and no Muslim military personnel advanced to officer ranks.

The State Department notes also the lack of a mosque in Athens as well as the lack of an Islamic cemetery.

US State Department report on Greece here  – ten pages on pdf

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5 comments

  1. I’m hoping that now that the US has intervened, maybe Greece will take this more serious, but then of course, maybe I’m fooling myself. I think only when Greece itself realizes as a whole that this party is dangerous, then will they do something. Until then, they will ride the “it’s not my problem” train until it’s too late.

  2. Personally, I think the US should mind its own business and stop trying to play world police ! Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones! The US is full of racist organisations. But that is the problem when a country has no internal political program for its own citizens it must then make itself look good in front of the world by having a strong external political program.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am against racism but comments from outside Greece on internal problems do not solve them !

    • comments from outside Greece on internal problems do not solve them !

      True, but at least they comment, which is far more than what can be said from those inside Greece who should indeed be solving these problems internally but aren’t. As the internal powers-that-be obviously haven’t got a clue what to do and are far to busy divising ways of screwing their own people to the wall, it might just be an idea to find out what others may have to say on this. It might just losen up the odd braincell here and there and get a thinking process going?
      Having said that, I do agree with you that the US State Dept does not appear very high in the list of “authorities worth listening to”.
      In fact, it doesn’t appear on that list at all.

  3. David, the US has racist organizations like KKK, but they are monitored by the authorities and when crimes are committed, severe penalties are imposed, with hate crime beign an additional sentence to whatever crime they commited.

    But, David, If you just wanted to “copy and paste” the typical anti-American sentiment, you suceeded. I think any report from any agency is a good thing, and the US report gets more attention than most, whether people like it or not. Folks in power pay attention to the US State Dept reports, albeit if not certain categories of the masses as Ephilant notes.

    All in all, a good thing this report has come out.