Greek Minister May Be Unacceptable to Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (L), and Finance Minister Christos Staikouras attend the first meeting of the new cabinet, Wednesday. (Reuters/Costas Baltas)

Israel welcomed the election victory of Greek’s new prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who has been friendly to Israel, but the same does not apply to one of his ministers, who has an anti-Semitic past, The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry will not work with Agricultural Development and Food Minister Makis Voridis, according to a senior official.

Voridis, a far-right nationalist, has been associated politically with overt anti-Semites and has been accused of anti-Semitism himself.

In 2012, Sabby Minos, a Greek Jew now living in Israel, wrote in Haaretz that Voridis has “a long history of Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, including physical threats to Jewish families and leading groups of thugs against immigrants and leftists.”

However, Voridis answered a protest from the Greek Jewish community against his appointment as health minister in the previous government in 2014 saying that he was committed to “putting an end to anti-Semitic, racist prejudice, which is an outright violation of human dignity.”

The Foreign Ministry in Yerushalayim said on Wednesday that it is “studying” the new composition of the Greek government, and acknowledged that it includes a minister known for “racist and anti-Semitic positions,” without naming Voridis.