Wednesday, 09 March 2016 09:59

Greek Journalists' Union disregards antisemitism complaint

On Eleftheri Ora’s Antisemitism: “There will be a Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (ESIEA), but it will be as if it does not exist”.

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On Eleftheri Ora’s Antisemitism: “There will be a Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (ESIEA), but it will be as if it does not exist”.

By Antonis Gazakis 

In Greece, everybody is aware of the newspaper “Eleftheri Ora”, more or less as a paper that promotes every kind of conspiracy theories, Paisios prophecies, and everything else with regard to the domestic populist, nationalist, anticommunist and fervent Christian right. Antisemitism of course, could not be missing from that list and finds its way to the newspaper’s front-pages almost every week, that move from outrageous to ridiculous. A type of antisemitism, sometimes in its primitive, pre-modern form, some other times in its modern form and other times in completely innovative and “Greek-orthodox“ conceptions of Eleftheri Ora’s editors. 

Constant repetition of myths, stereotypes and clear lies

Although the newspaper’s readership is relatively low, someone could say that it is not worth bothering with it. However, the fact that opinions such as the ones expressed through its repetitive anti-Semitic front-pages are adopted or reproduced by a lot of people often with no organic relation to the far-right or the Nazis, is worrying. This shows that we are not dealing with some kind of marginal phenomenon. Instead what we are looking at, is a typical example of how antisemitism, and racism in general works with the constant repetition of myths, stereotypes and clear lies, as well as with the promotion of the related feelings that part of the society already has (more on that issue in the article “Eleftheri Ora’s anti-Semitism”: ridiculous or dangerous?”). Also, let’s not forget that according to international reports Greece is among the countries with the highest percentage of antisemitism.

Complaint to the Union of Journalists ESIEA

A few months ago, Symβiosis, Greek partner of Get the Trolls Out!, denounced that totally unethical practice of Eleftheri Ora’s to the  Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (ESIEA).  The Journalists’ body had to take the appropriate measures for the blatant infringement of articles 1 and 2 of their profession’s code of conduct. The complaint targeted some Eleftheri Ora’s front pages (July-October 2015) which leave no uncertainty about its antisemitism. For example, it is claimed that Merkel and Schäuble are presented as Jewish Masons who covet the country’s mineral wealth. Another headline claims that Jews are presented as being aware of and planning the moment of Antichrist’s arrival. Also, Alexis Tsipras is described as Islamised Jew who is planning to destroy the Greek people. Finally, it is “revealed” that Lagarde’s list is not deployed because it also contains name of Jews. 

No response from ESIEA

Although there have been almost four months since that denouncement that was also made public, ESIEA has not yet provided any related answer. Also, they are likely not to have ordered any inspection procedure of the newspaper and its editors. All that happens while Eleftheri Ora not only has continued pouring its anti-Semitic poison but has instead increased its attacks against Jews. Generally, since November 2015 and up until now, its front pages has been “informing” us on the Jewish presence behind the attacks in Paris and the extension of cohabitation agreement to same-sex couples, that Greek Jews do not pay taxes, that Kuriakos Mitsotakis (the new leader of New Democracy, Greece's main conservative party) is the man of the Jews, that the new identity cards – that will certainly “depict the Satan” – will be printed by an Israeli company, and finally, that there “great massacre of Greeks has been committed by Jews” (don’t bother look for this “news” anywhere else; it is simply a distorted reference to a historical event that took place quite formerly, just about 19 centuries ago).


It is rather more than obvious that in this case we are not looking at journalism, not even in its yellow version, but at vulgar propaganda that flatters the antisemitic feelings of many Greeks, strengthening them with old and new falsehoods. In the meantime ESIEA, the responsible body stays silent allowing Eleftheri Ora to write some of the darkest pages of the Greek print journalism, comparable to the antisemitic newspapers’ pieces of the inter-war Thessaloniki that led to the arson in the Jewish settlement Campbell. And all that, in a period of time when some people are looking for scapegoats, in order to escape their own responsibilities and to hide how scant is the system that breeds them. Many other people stand silent as well: the public sector and the sector of justice, therefore allowing the hatred against certain Greek citizens to grow. As well as political parties and politicians who were recently very talkative against a theatrical play that supposedly offended them, and managed to stop it.

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