What more is there to say about the vile anti-Semitism that has become the common currency of public discourse in Europe as well as the Arab Middle East? Reader Erik Greupner asks us to take note of the November 4 statement by celebrated Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis that has achieved some notoriety.
While two Greek government officials placidly looked on, Theodorakis said: “We [the Greeks] are alone, but without the self-awareness and fanaticism the Jews have. We and the Jews are two peoples who are brotherless in the world. However, they have fanaticism and succeed in imposing themselves. We can say today that this small people is at the root of evil, not of good, which means that too much self-awareness and too much insistence causes harm.”
Theodorakis made the statement in the course of flogging the publication of his new autobiography, an event covered massively by the Greek media. He was flanked by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Education Minister Petros Efthymiou. Film footage showed that the two did not bat an eye during Theodorakis’s statement.
Today’s Jerusalem Post has a bizarre follow-up story, “Greece repudiates Theodorakis’s anti-Semitism.” The Post notes that in 2001 Theodorakis was awarded an honorary doctorate by Haifa University. Hmmm…
Theodorakis sought to pour soothing balm on the wounds he had opened by issuing the following clarification: “I have always supported the weak, those people who have fought for their rights, including the Israeli people. It is precisely for these reasons that I am totally against [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon’s policy and I have repeatedly stressed it. I have also repeatedly condemned the role played by eminent American Jewish politicians and intellectuals in designing the present aggressive so-called ‘policy’ of George W. Bush.” Thanks for clearing that up, you old Communist bastard.
DEACON adds: Great post, Trunk. This reminds me of the story I mentioned a few weeks ago, in which Jean Paul Sartre supposedly balked that he had signed a pro-Israel petition in 1967 only because he had been assured Israel would lose the war. However, I can understand Theodorakis’ suggestion that he liked Jews and Israelis more when they were losers. After all, I liked Theodorakis more when he was in jail.
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