OPINION

Open letter: we are all Greek Jews *

Thunderclap: on 6th of May, the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn entered the Greek Parliament.

Golden Dawn — with its emblem inspired by the Swastika, its hitlerian salute, Mein Kempf as its reference, its anti-Semitic and racist ideology, its negationism, its violence against migrants, its threats against journalists, its personality cult, ? — is a lineal heir of the German national-socialist party which led Europe and the world to chaos and bloodshed.

Unfortunatly, Greece is not the only country concerned with this revival of Nazi ideology. In Latvia, this year, for the first time, the President of the Republic, supported the annual former Waffen SS march in spite of the strong criticism it gave rise to. In Austria; the FPO; an extreme right organization — who nurtures IIIrd Reich nostalgia –, is favorite in the polls for the next parliamentary elections. In Hungary; the Hungarian Guard Movement — descendant of The Arrow Cross Party — the former militia responsible for the extermination of Jews and Gypsies — holds direct responsibility for provoking attacks and murders against Roma people and terrorizes Jewish populations.

This revival was made possible by the systematic attack by extreme right parties of the aspiration to ?togetherness,? the Republican ideal of recognising that each and everyone belongs to the national community. This campaign against ?togetherness,? is modelled on Geer Wilder?s strategy for his Party for Freedom in the beginning of 2000s. The core of this strategy is to hide the speech on inequality of races behind the cultural mask of fighting against a so-called ?islamization of Europe.?

In the context of an economic and social crisis, which favors a frenzied search for scapegoats and strengthens the fear of the decline of the Old Continent, this strategy has revealed itself worryingly efficient.

It has also enabled allegedly ?regentrified? disreputable extreme right parties to support or even to become members of governing coalitions and favored the ?normalisation? of racist and anti-Semitic speech in Europe.

Finally, the alleged ?regentrified? Extreme Right has opened the way to organizations with which it shares racist and anti-Semitic ideology but which, just like Golden Dawn, can now at the same time win votes while openly promoting hate speech.

Faced with this terrifying situation — exemplified by the election of neo-Nazis deputies in the Greek parliament — we assert our solidarity: ?We are all Greek Jews!?

We refuse that whether in Greece, or elsewhere in Europe, we refuse that Jewish, immigrant, Muslim, Roma or Black people might fear for their lives because of who they are.

We invite all citizens, political parties, unions, civil society, intellectuals and artists to fight the extreme right by promoting and bringing to life the European dream.

To realize the European dream for which we are fighting, we must always remember that it was built on the ruins of Nazism. We must never forget about the Shoah. Our dream is of a continent free of racism and of anti-Semitism. It is the project of a society based on ?togetherness? — beyond boundaries.

To see this dream embodied again it is urgent to put an end to two dogmas.

First, we must refute the dogma of austerity which is responsible for terrible damages, creating the conditions that explain the success of populist parties and which limits the future of Youth in European to the payment of debts — as if entire generations had to be sacrificed on the altar of perpetual austerity.

Secondly, we must refute the dogma of ?The European Fortress?: this concept favors the spread of anti-migrant speeches and the lock down of Europe?s frontiers undermining the core element of European post world-war identity: its social welfare system — which requires immigration to be sustainable?

It is of the utmost importance for European institutions to renew with the pursuit for democracy, social progress, and the promotion of equality; with the protection of those citizens who — even more so in times of crisis — are the target of racial and social violence

The concept of Europe is often criticized. Far from giving up on Europe, we strongly believe that we must work toward a stronger Europe, thus giving new momentum and scope to the European dream.

If we are not able to give life to the European dream, we are condemned to the same nightmare, in Greece and in the rest of Europe.

* By Benjamin Abtan, President of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement — EGAM, Dario Fo, Literature Nobel Prize, Jovan Dijvak, General defender of besieged Sarajevo, Svetlana Gannushkina, Leader of Memorial in Russia, Anthoy Giddens, Sociologist, Amos Gitai, Director, Beate et Serge Klarsfeld, President of the ?Fils et filles de d?©port?©s juifs de France,? Bernard Kouchner, Former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bernard-Henri Levy, Philosopher, writer, Adam Michnik, Historian, essayist, journalist, former member of Solidarnosc, Dominique Sopo, President of SOS Racisme, Oliviero Toscani, Photographer, Elie Wiesel, Peace Nobel Prize, writer, A.B. Yehoshua, Writer, essayist.

Find out more: http://www.weareallgreekjews.eu/