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Sunday, May 30, 2004

Prominent Greek Journalist [fill in the blank]

If you guessed, "Accuses Jews," you're right!
JTA via Israellycool

A prominent Greek journalist has accused Greek Jews of being puppets of the Israeli government and of censoring criticism of what he calls "fascist" Israeli policies.

Kostas Betinakis, a former foreign editor of the Ta Nea newspaper, Greece’s largest, made his comments on his news Web site.

The incident raises the issue of anti-Semitism in Greece at a time when a leading Jewish group has reiterated its call for a travel boycott of the country just months before Athens hosts the 2004 Olympics.

Betinakis, known for his anti-Israel views, criticized the country’s Jews after the Central Board of Greek Jewish Communities wrote to the Greek Journalists Union about anti-Semitism in the media following a series of editorial cartoons following Israel’s assassination of Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin in March.

The cartoons included depictions of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Nazi garb and images of Sharon as a butcher cutting up bloody human limbs with a hatchet.

One cartoon portrayed a conversation about the Yassin assassination between two Greek villagers in which one asks the other: "Why did Sharon kill a religious leader?"

The other answers, "They were practicing for Easter," repeating the canard that the Jews killed Jesus.
. . .

Betinakis’ anti-Israel beliefs are not new. As foreign editor of Ta Nea, Greece’s largest newspaper, he has been known to omit news items about Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel.

His Web site also has a 2001 article he wrote about Israel in which he states that the "armored policemen of the U.S. in the Middle East remind one of a caricature of a Jewish small-time merchant breaking his promises and contracts."