ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — Greek Jews implored the government to crack down on the ultranationalist Golden Dawn party in the wake of the murder of the anti-fascist rapper known as Killah P.
On Monday, a statement from the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece said the Sept. 18 stabbing death of Pavlos Fyssas again showed the need for the government to take tough action against Golden Dawn.
The arrest of a suspect with ties to Golden Dawn spurred major protests against the party and clashes in Greece.
“Fyssas, a defender of democracy, was murdered by a sworn follower of Nazism,” the statement said. “Our dignity, our freedom, our democracy, our humanism were literally violated. The punishment of the perpetrators is not enough.”
Golden Dawn, which Jewish and international groups have condemned as being racist and anti-Semitic, has denied any connection to the killing.
A long-promised anti-racism bill meant to counter a surge in hate crimes linked to Golden Dawn’s rise fell earlier this year.
“We urge the Prime Minister, as well as all the leaders of the democratic parties to work together … to cooperate for the voting of a strong and effective legislation that will combat racism, intolerance and anti-Semitism,” the Central Board’s statement said. “All parties have to turn their promises into legislative action and finally stop those who seek the return of the darkest period of our history.”
Golden Dawn emerged on the political scene last year, winning 7 percent of the vote, or 18 seats in the 300-member Parliament. Recent polls have indicated the party, which runs on a fierce anti-immigrant platform, now has about 12 percent of the population’s support.