ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — Mikis Theodorakis, the Greek composer who wrote the music for the film "Zorba the Greek," said in a television interview that he is an "anti-Semite and anti-Zionist."
Theodorakis, 86, a hero in Greece, also said in the interview on Greece’s High channel that "everything that happens today in the world has to do with the Zionists." He added that "American Jews are behind the world economic crisis that has hit Greece also."
The composer, a member of the Greek Communist Party for 60 years, once was a supporter of Israel but gradually became a major critic. He has gone from criticizing Israel to making anti-Semitic remarks and holding anti-Semitic positions.
In 2003, Theodorakis declared that "Jews are at the root of all evil." When the Greek Jewish community reacted strongly to his statement he apologized, but nothing really changed.
Oddly, during the television interview he said that "I’m an anti-Semite but I love Jews."
Theodorakis criticized Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, who the composer says is a persona non-grata in Greece due to his "war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza."
In the interview, Theodorakis had a warning for the Greek people.
"We are in danger. In a few days the Zionists will gather in Greece for a conference," he said, referring to the visit by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which began Tuesday.