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The Message of the Funeral of the Mayor of Ioannina

The funeral of the Mayor of Ioannina, Moses Elisaf, was attended by the President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the Deputy Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos, and the President of the Parliament and MP of Ioannina Konstantinos Tasoulas. The President of PASOK-KINAL, Nikos Androulakis was represented by the party’s secretary Andreas Spyropoulos and Evangelos Venizelos, SYRIZA’s representative was MP Meropi Tzoufi.

How common is it to have such a high-ranking delegation at the funeral of a mayor of a provincial town?

It is not at all common. That is the message.

Their presence highlights and underlines a relatively recent development of major national importance: The development and strengthening of close alliance relations, the triangle of America, Greece, and Israel – as well as the blood ties that link Greece and Israel, the Greek Jewish community.

It is an issue with moral and national implications, another tangible proof of the progress Greece has made and which opens up even greater prospects for the future.

It is difficult to understand why Greece had in the past adopted a one-sided, anti-Israeli policy, which of course had an impact on the Greek Jews who had lived in Greece for generations. A policy that forced some of them to leave Greece.

Couldn’t one support the rights of the Palestinians without the embrace of the dictators of the Middle East? How did that serve Greece’s national interest?

Don’t the corrupt Palestinian leaders and the hypocrisy-filled Arab ‘brother’ states also bear much of the blame for the Palestinian stalemate?

The historical truth, however, is that during the Holocaust the Greek people stood by their compatriots of Jewish origin, even making great sacrifices and assuming dangerous risks. In Athens, led by Chief of Police Angelos Evert and Archbishop Damaskinos, in Thessaloniki, Lefkada, and elsewhere.

Of course, we did our duty, but not all nations did so.

Apart from the natural tightening of relations between America, Greece, and Israel, countries with common principles and values – the two latter states also have large diasporas that have relations on several levels – Erdogan’s anti-Semitism contributed greatly to the strengthening of the alliance. His insults, his nasty references to Israel and Jews in general bordered on Nazism.

The death of a great Greek of Jewish origin therefore provided an opportunity to make even more evident the closing of an unpleasant chapter and the opening of an optimistic, hopeful, and fruitful one between Greeks and Jews. It was about time.


The struggle, the agony, and the determination of Hellenes Abroad to preserve their roots can be seen in our great national holidays, such as the March 25th celebrations.

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