The European Jewish Congress (EJC) condemned and called for strong measures to be taken against the Metropolite of Piraeus Seraphim, who embarked on an anti-Semitic rant on Greek TV.
The Greek Orthodox priest blamed the Jews and Zionists for everything from the current Greek financial crisis to one-parent families, claimed that “Adolf Hitler was an instrument of world Zionism" and that there is a Zionist conspiracy to enslave Greece and Christian Orthodoxy.
EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor was unequivocal in his condemnation. “It is completely unacceptable that someone senior in a mainstream European religious denomination can make such repulsive and hate-filled claims,” Kantor said Wednesday. “That they were said so openly on national television demonstrates that there are those who feel no shame expressing these views in front of a wide audience.”
“European nations and the European Union must immediately pass robust legislation to ban and sanction anti-Semitism in all its forms and at all levels. This rant proves that the discredited views of the twentieth century are apparently alive and well within areas of Europe and this needs to be addressed immediately.”
“We call on the Greek government to implement its laws against such hate-speech and the leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church to immediately remove this person from his position.”
The European Jewish Congress is the democratically elected representative body of European Jewish communities.
On Thursday, December 23 the Greek government published its response: “It is not part of the government’s role to judge or comment on clerics.
"But the government is obliged to condemn the language of hatred, regardless of who uses it. We are obliged to characterize language denying the holocaust – the greatest crime against humanity – as unacceptable," the statement read.
"These are marginal views. They are an insult to Greece. They are an insult to our culture and our very society, of which the Greek Jewish community is an intrinsic part. Everyone needs to know that the Greek state and Greek society condemn these statements unequivocally."
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