AJC Welcomes Greek Prime Minister's Condemnation of Anti-Semitic Priest

Dec 23, 2010, 22:42 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, Dec. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC praised Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for his government's condemnation of a high-level Greek Orthodox Church official's outrageous anti-Semitic remarks on one of the country's popular TV morning shows.

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"It is the government's obligation to condemn the language of hatred by whoever expresses them," said Greek government spokesman George Petalotis today.

AJC yesterday called on Greek Orthodox Church leaders to condemn unequivocally the anti-Semitic libels expressed by Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus.

"Adolf Hitler was an instrument of world Zionism and was financed from the renowned Rothschild family with the sole purpose of convincing the Jews to leave the shores of Europe and go to Israel to establish the new Empire," Metropolitan Seraphim said in the TV interview.

"It is the government's duty to stigmatize as unacceptable the language that denies the Holocaust, the biggest crime against humanity," said the government spokesman. "They insult our very society, of which the Greek Jewish Community is an inseparable part."

AJC, the global advocacy organization, has long maintained close relations with Greece and its Jewish community.

"We deeply appreciate the prime minister's strong and unambiguous words," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "They are exactly what was needed in the face of such blatant falsification of history. We can only hope that Church officials will follow suit quickly, making clear that there can be no place for such racist and incendiary language -- or those who would use their position in the Church to express it."


SOURCE American Jewish Committee