November 4, 2008 – New York – The American Jewish Committee expressed anger at the front-page headline in today’s issue of Avriani, a mainstream daily newspaper in Greece.
The newspaper’s headline, in bold letters, read: “The anticipated victory of Obama in the U.S. elections signals the end of Jewish domination. Everything changes in the USA and we hope that it will be more democratic and humane.”
“This vile and scurrilous headline draws on classic anti-Semitic canards of Jewish conspiracy and domination,” said AJC Executive Director David A. Harris. “How could any responsible media outlet peddle such outright nonsense?”
Harris added: “Opinion polls consistently show that Senator Obama will receive from two-thirds to three-fourths of the votes of American Jews. Thus, according to the newspaper’s perverse logic, Jews are voting overwhelmingly for ‘the end of Jewish domination.’ In reality, Jews, like other Americans, celebrate democracy, participate in the political system across the spectrum, and engage in a wide range of civic activity. To suggest something darker and more sinister is to distort reality beyond recognition and fan the flames of religious and ethnic hatred.”
“We fully recognize that Greece, as a democracy, enjoys freedom of the press,” Harris concluded, “and we also understand that the views of Avriani – which has a history of anti-Semitic agitation – are its own, not the nation’s. In that spirit, we hope to hear the voices of those in Greece who recognize these views for what they are – unabashed anti-Semitism.”
AJC and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece have been longstanding partners. AJC has often visited Greece, met with its leaders, and sought to build strong bonds of friendship, while also maintaining close ties with the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek-American community.