Bank of England’s executive director for markets Paul Fisher
David Bernstein appointed new chairman of Football Association
The World Jewish Congress and the Conference of European Rabbis today issued the following joint statement calling on the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos II, and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to condemn vitriolic, anti-Semitic public statements recently made by Metropolitan of Piraeus Seraphim and Metropolitan Anthimos of Salonika. The Metropolitan Seraphim, one of the Greek Orthodox Churches highest officials, appeared on a morning show on Greek television and falsely charged world Jewry with causing the current financial crisis in Greece. He also articulated the outrageous libel that the Jews had financed Adolf Hitler with the “sole purpose of having the Jewish people leave the shores of Europe and go to Israel to establish a new Empire.”
Chief Rabbi Joseph Sitruk, Honorary President of the Conference of European Rabbis, said, “We had hoped that such vicious accusations and canards would no longer emanate from the Greek Orthodox Church in view of the many years of dialogue and cooperation between our two communities to advance ecumenism and mutual understanding. Such insidious pronouncements on the part of high-level Church leaders at such a sensitive time of economic and social instability in Greece are provocative to say the least and have the potential to cause violence.”
Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, said, “We call on the Ecumenical Patriarch, head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos II, to publicly repudiate and condemn these anti-Semitic statements made by Metropolitan Seraphim and Metropolitan Anthimos so that they may not be construed as official Church positions. We hope that the many years of interfaith efforts made by the World Jewish Congress and the Conference of European Rabbis will now demonstrate that positive relations developed between the Church, the Greek government, and the Jewish community and Israel have grown and matured and that these horrendous expressions of anti-Semitism will be immediately renounced.”
Leaders of Greece’s small Jewish community objected on Wednesday to televised remarks by a Greek Orthodox bishop who blamed the country’s financial problems on a conspiracy of Jewish bankers and claimed that the Holocaust was orchestrated by Zionists.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece complained to church authorities about the anti-Semitic remarks made by the Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus during a recent interview on Greek television, according to a statement (in Greek) on the group’s Web site.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that the bishop “said that there is a conspiracy to enslave Greece and Christian Orthodoxy. He also accused international Zionism of trying to destroy the family unit by promoting one-parent families and same-sex marriages.”
According to the news agency, when the bishop was then asked, “Why do you disagree with Hitler’s policies? If they are doing all this, wasn’t he right in burning them?” he replied: “Adolf Hitler was an instrument of world Zionism and was financed from the renowned Rothschild family with the sole purpose of convincing the Jews to leave the shores of Europe and go to Israel to establish the new Empire.” He added that Jewish bankers like “Rockefeller, Rothschild and Soros control the international banking system that controls globalization.”
Greece’s Jewish community is ancient, but only about 10,000 Greek Jews survived the Holocaust.
The president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor, called for the bishop to be fired in a statement sent to reporters on Wednesday. He added: “It is completely unacceptable that someone senior in a mainstream European religious denomination can make such repulsive and hate-filled claims.”
Earlier this year, the bishop wrote to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II to demand that Elton John be stripped of his knighthood for telling Parade magazine, “Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man.” The bishop also complained to Britain’s ambassador to Greece about the singer’s “unacceptable and absurd” comment, which, he said, had caused “deep pain and bitterness.”
An anti-Semitic Islamic website police say is operated by a Toronto student who is on the run is back on the Internet after being shut down earlier this year by a Canadian web-hosting provider.
Salman An-Noor Hossain, 25, of Mississauga, operated a website called Filthy Jewish Terrorists and he and the site were the subject of a five-month investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police.
The site was shut down in March and Hossain was suspended from York University as the OPP investigated him.
But the anti-Semitic site has relaunched, using a host in Switzerland.
On Tuesday, Hossain posted a blog identifying himself as the operator of the relaunched site, and using the same design as the old one. The new website is registered with generic information making it impossible to locate him.
Last July, the OPP said in a statement that Hossain “wilfully promoted hatred and advocated genocide of the Jewish community.” His website called for direct terrorist attacks.
Hossain was charged with five counts under the seldom-used hate-crime section of the Criminal Code, but he didn’t show up for his court date.
Last month, the Ontario Superior Court issued an international warrant for his arrest on Interpol. Hossain’s picture, birth date, height, weight, colour of eyes and hair are listed on the international police website.
“Every single Muslim in North America and Europe has a right to go and physically fight alongside the Islamic resistance groups in the various regions under external occupation (Afghanistan, Iraq, Kashmir, Lebanon, Palestine, Somalia, and other places),” the website reads.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service issued a statement Tuesday. “CSIS is very aware of certain Internet websites which support or incite terrorist violence, and that some of those sites are based in Canada,” the statement said.
Stuart Ross, 74, pleaded guilty in August to attempted grand larceny after threatening to destroy the professional reputation of son-in-law David Blitzer, a senior managing director at the financial services firm The Blackstone Group, if he wasn’t paid the money.
Ross had tried to withdraw the guilty plea, claiming he only entered it because he was contending with pneumonia, cancer and other health problems that were not getting adequate care when he was held in jail.
But New York state Supreme Court Justice Bonnie Wittner said: “There’s nothing in the record to convince me it was anything but a voluntary plea.” Ross bought North American rights to the sky-blue Smurf characters after seeing them in their native Belgium in 1976. The gnome-like cartoon creatures then shot to fame in a 1980s television series.
Ross went through the money he had made and began asking Mr Blitzer to stake him in new businesses, according to a lawsuit filed by Mr Blitzer.
Mr Blitzer said threats began when he cut Ross off after giving him tens of thousands of dollars.
Broadway star Adam Pascal has called for the director of troubled musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark to be prosecuted after another actor was injured on-stage during a preview performance.
Alberta Health and Wellness Minister Gene Zwozdesky
“On 25 November, the ambassadors to the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, of seven EU states including the UK sent a letter to the country’s president complaining about a newspaper article by an interior ministry historian, Petras Stankeras, that described the Holocaust as a “legend”.
In the letter, they complained about how a court in May had ruled that the swastika is a “traditional Lithuanian symbol” while “spurious attempts are made to equate the uniquely evil genocide of the Jews with Soviet crimes against Lithuania, which, though great in magnitude, cannot be regarded as equivalent in either their intention or result”.”