Israel to Shun New Greek Minister Over “Racist and Antisemitic Positions”

Israel will not work with Greece’s new Agricultural Development and Food Minister, Makis Voridis, because of his antisemitic past, a senior diplomatic told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem issued a statement on Wednesday, saying that it is “studying” the new composition of the Greek government and the significance of Voridis’ appointment. Though not mentioning him by name, the statement said that the new minister is known for “racist and antisemitic positions.”

Despite the condemnation of Voridis, the statement also congratulated Mitsotakis on his victory, pointing out that Netanyahu spoke with him regarding the continuation of “excellent relations” between the two countries.

Another note, however, was struck by vice chairman of the World Zionist Organization, Yaakov Hagoel, who called on Mitsotakis to cancel the appointment.

Hagoel said he was “astonished” and that “it is clear that Mitsotakis is a supporter of Israel and the Jews, but it is forbidden to appoint to the government a clearly antisemitic minister.”

The Jerusalem Post notes that Voridis is considered a far-right politician. He founded the now defunct ultra-nationalist Hellenic Front Party, and ran for parliament in 2000 alongside a man who wrote a 1,400-page screed about the Jews.

And in 2005, he merged with a party whose leader – George Karatzaferis – blamed the Jews for 9/11 and said after Operation Cast Lead in 2008 that “the Jew smells blood.”

No comment has yet been made by the Greek minister.