Wednesday, 21 Aug 2019 - 20 of Av, 5779

Israel will not work with a member of the new Greek government because of his antisemitic past

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JERUSALEM—Israel will not work with a member of the new Greek government because of his antisemitic and Holocaust denial past, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Citing a senior Israeli diplomat, the paper said Makis Voridis, the Agricultural Development and Food Minister in the new government led by New Democracy party head Kyriakos Mitsotakis, was a founder of the now defunct ultra-nationalist Hellenic Front Pary and ran for parliament in 2000 alongside a man who wrote a 1,400-page screed about the Jews. In 2005, he merged with a party whose leader , George Karatzaferis who blamed the Jews for 9/11 and said after Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in 2008 that ‘’the Jew smells blood.’’

Voridis joined the liberal New Democracy party in 2012.

The Israeli foreign ministry issued a statement on Wednesday saying that it was ‘’studying ‘’ the new composition of the Greek government  and the significance of Voridis’ appointment. The ministry didn’t mentioned Voridis by name but said he is known for ‘’racist and antisemitic positions.’’

The new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is considered as a pro-Israel, defeated Alexis Tsipras, of the radical-left Syriza Party, in the general elections.

Mitsotakis is the son of Konstantinos Mitsotakis, a former Greek prime minister who kept a campaign promise and established full diplomatic ties with Israel in 1990.

Israel’s foreign ministry congratulated the new Prime Minister  on his victory. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with him regarding the continuation of ‘’excellent relations’’ between the two countries.

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