Monday, 31 December 2018 14:35

GREECE – National far-right daily singles out politicians for their alleged Jewish origins

The extreme right-wing daily Eleftheri Ora claims that 14 Greek politicians have purposely hidden their Jewish origins and are pursuing “secret policies”. This is Greece's media monitoring highlight for December.

 This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of December, a monthly overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.

eleftheri ora politicians antisemitism verticalDate of publication: 1 December 2018

Media OutletEleftheri Ora, far-right daily newspaper


Headline: “It’s all Jews’ fault, Prime ministers and Ministers with the… Star of David?”

Description of the antisemitic content:  On its front page, Eleftheri Ora presents photographs of 14 well-known Greek politicians, including the former President of Greece  Karolos Papoulias and six former Prime Ministers, alleging that they all have Jewish origins and that they work to implement “secret policies” to promote  “Jewish interests”. To prove their Jewishness, the paper refers to what it claims to be the politicians’ original names that have been changed, by themselves or their families, to hide their origins. This conspiracy theory, which attributes Jewish origins to many politicians, has flourished since the former prime minister Kostas Simitis was first ’revealed’ to be Jewish because his family name means “Semitic” in Greek. The allegations were based on a recent CNN poll according to which a fourth of Europeans believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. While maliciously inviting the readers to reflect on their opinion, the author disseminates hatred by claiming that many Greek government officials have Jewish origins.

Myth debunked: Eleftheri Ora has a history of antisemitic articles with outlandish assertions. Regardless of whether the politicians mentioned by the newspaper have Jewish heritage or not, it is irresponsible to single out individuals for being part of an alleged Jewish conspiracy on the front page of a national newspaper with no evidence. This sort of modern witch-hunt against Jewish people by Eleftheri Ora is reminiscent of the persecutions under Nazism, when many Jewish people, tried to hide their true identities through various means in order to survive. By inciting hatred, the Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda facilitated the persecution and ultimately the annihilation Europe's Jewish population. In a similar fashion to Eleftheri Ora’s front page, Nazi propaganda represented Jews as engaged in a conspiracy to provoke war, or to control powerful enemies behind the scenes (indirectly). Eleftheri Ora’s antisemitic claims followed a month in which there were at least three incidents of vandalism against Jewish monuments and cemeteries in Greece.

More to read:

Antisemitism in Greece today 

What’s in a Name? The Genealogy of Holocaust Identities

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