We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Anti-Semitism is an escape from reality, misdirecting attention to real problems by inventing another cause as coming from Jews or Israel. We’re familiar with this behavior in the Middle East but it is also evident elsewhere, as in Greece. When history isn’t known, constructive futures cannot be built as the old hatreds and sins are blithely repeated.
A memorial to one of the major heroes of Greece’s victory against the Italian invasion in 1940 – Jewish Colonel Mordechai Frizis -- stands outside the National Military Museum in Athens. Many leaders and members of the Greek resistance during World War II were Jews.
Today, except for scant history writing (see Jewish Resistance In Wartime Greece), they are forgotten. A few weeks ago I corresponded with a knowledgeable gentile Greek-American friend who was surprised at the extent of Greek Jews’ involvement in the WWII resistance. This isn’t unusual. As Andrew Apostolou, a Senior Program Manager for Freedom House, wrote in the Wall Street Journal last year:
Instead of the Holocaust being treated as a moment for moral and historical reflection, it is portrayed as an opportunity for national self-congratulation because of the rescue of a small number of Greek Jews. The genuine heroism of Greek Christians who saved Greek Jews from the Nazis in such places as Zakynthos and Athens is used to obscure the collaboration and indifference that helped condemn tens of thousands of Greek Jews to death in Salonika and northern Greece.
Instead, today’s Jews in Greece are scapegoats (a person or group made to bear the blame and suffering for others’ actions) among many Greeks for the economic implosion of their welfare state. Remaining synagogues or newer memorials are vandalized and swastikas painted on them. (Latest instance.)
Today’s Jews in Greece are victims of the Left, who together with traditional anti-Semites and Muslim immigrants, have unleashed their misdirected resentments and their hatreds on Jews. Greece’s most famous composer, Mikis Theorodakis, of Zorba the Greek fame, for example, went on Greek TV to declare, “Everything that happens today in the world has to do with the Zionists,” he said. “American Jews are behind the world economic crisis that has hit Greece also.”
The remaining 5-6000 or so Jews in Greece is down from about 100,000 – even a majority in Salonika – before the Germans had their way in World War II. There would be some more, but the WWII resistance movement that welcomed Jewish fighters was led by communists – the rightist resistance less welcoming -- and many surviving Jews had to emigrate to avoid punishment-by-association during the post-WWII Greek civil war won against the communists.
Ironically, relations between the governments of Greece and of Israel have warmed. Greece wants investments from Israel, and Israel wants better relations as Greece’s historical foe Turkey turns against Israel.
The rising anti-Semitism in Greece is largely being ignored, by the world’s press, by the US and Europe, and even by Israel. What’s the worth of truth or of several thousand when Greece’s economy teeters, affecting the world’s, and the geopolitical survival necessities of Israel predominate? Realpolitik wins over morality at the cost of real people and of understanding history in order to avoid its repeats. Realpolitik that eschews morality is incomplete, even unreal, as its outcomes bring shame and renewed problems that can be avoided by attention to the necessity for truth and decency.
After the Iron Curtain came down, as Yugoslavia was starting to sort itself out, there were two political parties (one essentially Serbian, the other Macedonian) that had getting rid of the Jews as central tenets of their platform. This, left over from the immediate postwar days and brought back for the new era. One problem: there were hardly any Jews left in Yugoslavia, so it was difficult to convince even that history-obsessed region that they were the problem.
Assistant VIllage Idiot