The order which the Greek government has just issued, that no Jew can enter or pass through Greece unless by special permission from the central authorities in Athens, is a direct result of the pressure exercised by the British Legation in Athens.
For some reason or other the British government has formed an opinion that it is via Greece that numerous Jews from East European countries are smuggling their way through to Palestine. Representations have therefore recently been made by the British Legation in Greece to introduce a stricter control at the Greek border for foreign Jews.
It is not so easy to understand why the present government in Greece, which owes a good deal to the Jews and is, as a matter of fact, warmly disposed towards them, should permit itself to be used as a tool in the hands of the British government against the Jews. If the British government wishes to check illegal entry into Palestine it has plenty of means for doing so on the Palestine borders, and does not need to start the checking at the Greek frontiers.
The Greek Foreign Office must understand that the foreign government whose Jewish citizens have been affected by this discriminating order may have something to say in the matter. Furthermore, the Jews of the worldâ€”if their opinion means something to the Greek Cabinetâ€”will definitely consider the order a direct insult to the Jewish nation. The kind of insult which has never before been inflicted upon the Jews by any other government.
Whether the Greek government acted willingly in censoring Jewish entrants to Greece or whether this was done under the pressure of the British Legation, it is none the less a slap in the face for foreign Jews.
Every Jew in Europe and in America, whether he intends to travel to Greece or not, will feel this insult. The Greek government would have been wiser if it had not permitted itself to be misled by the anti-Jewish interests of the British government.