Greek Jews Celebrate Outlawing of Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party

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‘We hope other nations which allow similar neo-Nazi parties to run in elections..will likewise proscribe parties which promote racist ideologies’, EJC president Moshe Kantor said

Greek Jews celebrated a court decision to outlaw the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, calling it a “landmark” ruling that protects democracy.

The ruling on Wednesday by the Athens Court of Appeals convicted seven of the party’s former lawmakers, including party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, of leading a criminal organisation, a felony that carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, the Associated Press reported. The remaining 51 defendants were convicted of belonging to a criminal enterprise.

The court decision caps a trial that began in 2015 with prosecutors arguing that Golden Dawn leaders were criminally responsible for the fatal stabbing of rap singer Pavlos Fyssas by a party supporter. Other cases supporting the prosecution  were assaults on immigrants and left-wing activists.

Leaders of Golden Dawn, which uses a Swastika-themed symbol, have a history of Holocaust denial and incitement against Jews.

“The landmark ruling of the Greek court that criminalises this neo-Nazi entity shields the republic of our country,” the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece said Wednesday.

“It reaffirms an important truth: Neo-Nazi organizations that weaponize patriotism are dangerous and spread hatred.”

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor expressed hope that other countries would take similar steps to outlaw neo-Nazi parties .He said it is “a welcome and important decision and finally tells the facts as they are, that neo-Nazis like those in Golden Dawn are criminals, pure and simple”

“We hope other nations which allow similar neo-Nazi parties to run in elections and sit in parliaments will likewise proscribe parties which promote racist and hateful ideologies.”

“Today is a win for democracy and a defeat for hate and intolerance.”

“This is hopefully the death knell for the Golden Dawn.”