Antisemitic publications and a banner proclaiming “international Zionism” to be the Greek people’s enemy were on display at a rally ostensibly against the introduction of a new electronic ID card.
Hundreds of people attended the protest in Nea Paralia, Thessaloniki, in late February including laypeople and members of the Greek Orthodox organisation Agios Vasileios.
Demonstrators gathered by a statue of Alexander the Great to protest against the “instruments of Antichrist and the New World Order” by holding religious icons, banners, Greek and Byzantine flags. One banner bore the message: “No to the citizen’s card. There is only one enemy: The international Zionism.”
Publications with titles like “The Jewish-Zionist vampire Soros is thirsty for Greek blood” were on sale, while protesters shouted slogans against “the Jewish” Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris. Boutaris is not Jewish but wore a yellow Star of David during his swearing-in ceremony in 2014, in protest at the election to the council of a member of the fascist Golden Dawn Party.
One of the speakers at the rally was the excommunicated Abbot Methodios, who at a similar event in Athens a few weeks earlier threatened the Jews with a “Greek Hitler”. In Thessaloniki, he said that the Christians are enslaved by “the Jews” and that Jews “were cannibals, when the Greeks were building Parthenons”. His antisemitic rant was warmly applauded, according to a report by Greek journalist Sofia Christoforidou.
Daniel Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, told The Algemeiner: “It was a particularly vile antisemitic demonstration. The fact that it happened in a city that is so important in Jewish history and whose population suffered – more than 90 percent killed during the Shoah – makes the demonstration even that much more outrageous.”