OPINION

Double standards II

Although the Simon Wiesenthal Center (October 17) is renowned worldwide, it too has to live up to expectations in fighting racism and genocide. While it has been critical of (Giorgos) Karadzaferis and his TV station, it should also look to Israeli television, particularly with regard to ultra right-wing Orthodox Jews who call for their government to «Kick all the Arabs out of Israel.» Has their government closed their television stations down? Israel has not exactly lived up to United Nations resolutions or to unfavorable criticism by human rights groups concerning the Palestinians. At the same time the Simon Wiesenthal Center claims it is fighting genocide, it has remained silent on a resolution on the Armenian Genocide which cost the lives of 1.5 million people. This was recognized by Greece in 1996. Jewish groups do not want to upset its strategic relationship with Turkey. In fact, Jewish lobby groups in America such as AIPAC have done everything in their power not to have the Armenian Genocide or the Pontian Genocide recognized simply because it serves their interests with Turkey. Why? Jews want the monopoly on the word genocide and suffering. If you note carefully, Jewish lobby groups call it a tragedy but not a genocide. Perhaps Mr Skandalidis should kindly respond, «Yes, we do acknowledge what you are saying, but what about freedom of speech?» I would have thought the Simon Wiesenthal Center would have better things to do than to comment on Karadzaferis. If they want to comment on such trivialities, they need not look any further than Jewish ultra Orthodox members of the Israeli Knesset who regularly call for Arab blood. This way we can all avoid being hypocrites. G. SALAMOURAS, Melbourne. Editor replies: Whatever happens in Israel is the business of the Israeli government and, in the end, reflects on Israel. The issue here is whether Karadzaferis’s television station carries anti-Semitic propaganda and other forms of racist comment which are illegal. There is a line between freedom of speech and bigotry. The problem with bigotry that is repeated without being confronted, is that, in the end, it comes across as fact and that poisons attitudes throughout the country.