NEWS

Unionist responds to racism accusations

Following an official protest by Israeli Ambassador David Sasson to the president of the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) over an extremely racist and anti-Semitic article published last week in the Chamber’s bulletin, a leftist unionist representing the authors yesterday rejected all accusations. In a letter sent to the Athens daily Eleftherotypia and published yesterday, Stylianos Sfakianakis, representative of the Engineers of the Class at TEE, rebuffed racism accusations made by Ambassador Sasson and said the article was not directed against Jews but rather at Zionists. Dear Mr. Sasson, I don’t see any ‘malicious mixture of prejudice, racism and anti-Semitism’ in our articles. We are neither anti-Semites nor racist. We are Greek, anti-racists meaning anti-Zionists. Do not confuse Semitism with Zionism because if you do, you harm your country. The Jews are our friends, you know that. The Zionists, however, are not. Every benevolent person will immediately understand that we are talking about Zionist and not Jewish scheming, Sfakianakis wrote. The Israeli Embassy in Athens yesterday reacted with surprise to the statement, saying that the response by Mr. Sfakianakis appears to carry no remorse, even after an official protest by the Israeli Embassy. An article by the leftist union of engineers which appeared in the Chamber’s bulletin last week under the title What is Going On? reiterate rumors, that had previously appeared in the Arab and Pakistani press, claiming that all Jews who worked at the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers had been informed by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad of the imminent attack on September 11 and therefore supposedly didn’t go to work that day. The truth is that at least 2,000 Jews lost their lives in the Twin Towers in New York in an attack which according to all indications was carried out by Arab terrorists. All the racist propaganda in the world cannot change that, Ambassador Sasson wrote in his strongly worded letter of response. The article in TEE’s bulletin alleged that 4,000 Jewish employees were absent from the World Trade Center on the day of the attack, while noting the alleged arrest of five Jews who videotaped the destruction of the Twin Towers and who were strangely pleased. The Israeli envoy expressed his regret such an article could be printed in the bulletin of an organization like TEE, while urging admonitory action be taken not only against those who wrote such an article, but also against those who gave a podium to such baseless, malicious and unjustifiable claims in your magazine. Candidates agree. The Cyprus government for example believes the war against terrorism has served as a catalyst for the EU enlargement process.