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Between the Lines

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Central Jewish organizations interested in protecting Jewish rights will now have to watch more closely the Jewish situation in Greece.

The agreement reached this week between the Greek government party and the anti-Semitic party led by former Premier Venizelos may cost the Jews in Greece a good deal of the government party patronage they enjoyed till now.


It was with the assistance of Jewish votes that the present government party came into power in Greece. It was for this assistance that the oppositionary Venizelos party started a campaign against the Jews. Venizelos himself was quite frank in emphasizing that were it not for the ten thousand Jewish votes cast in Salonica in favor of the present government during the last election. he would not have been defeated.

It was for the purpose of isolating the Jewish votes that Venizelos and his party started a campaign to segregate the Jews into a separate electoral college. The government party, being friendly to the Jews, has made it clear on many occasions that Jewish patriotism in Greece cannot be questioned and that no special ghetto voting would be introduced for Jews during the forthcoming elections.


Now the startling news comes that after weeks of severe anti-Jewish campaigning the anti-Semitic Venizelist party has won its point. Despite the assurances given several weeks ago by President Zaimis of Greece that the Jewish electoral college will not be restored and that the Jews will vote with the non-Jews, on the same equal basis, an agreement has been reached, resulting in isolating the Jews into special electoral units.

This breach of promise on the part of the government party towards the Jews, which is a complete victory for the anti-Semitic Venizelist party, may lead to more serious consequences for the Jews. As long as no agreement existed between the anti-Semitic Venizelist party and the government party the Jews in Greece could always figure on full protection from the government party. Is such protection, however, to be expected at present?


Only two weeks ago the governor of Salonica, condemning the violent anti-Semitic agitation which is being carried on by the Venizelist press, declared that he may be forced to put the anti-Semitic press under censorship in order to prevent the growing anti-Jewish propaganda in the country. Will the governor of Salonica change his mind now that a truce has been reached between the government and the anti-Semitic party?

The agreement just concluded between the government and the oppositionary party in Greece will no doubt give a free hand to the Venizelists in their anti-Semitic propaganda campaign. It will expose the Jews in Greece to greater danger than hitherto. A government which is bound by an agreement with an anti-Semitic party is certainly cautious about using oppressive measures against anti-Semitism.

There is where the danger for the Jews of Greece lies. That is why central Jewish organizations interested in protecting Jewish rights should be on the alert.

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