Greek newspaper convicted for antisemitic article targeting Jewish leader

A court in Greece has found that a newspaper insulted a Jewish leader and offended illegally his personality by making unnecessary reference to his origin.

A harsh Jew, manager of a smell-blood company, which assumed the clearance of the non-performing loans of the poor Greeks. The President of the Jewish Community who pretends to be our friend, is stealing our money from the back door”. This is what Stefanos Chios wrote, in huge letters, in the web site of “Makeleio” newspaper, on the 10th of December 2017, about Minos Moissis, the former President of the Jewish commnunity of Athens.

Minos Moissis, took legal actions and sued the newspaper, its publisher and its reporter Stefanos Chios. The claim was put on trial on the 28th of March 2019 and on the 8th of October 2020 the sentence of the civil proceeding was published. The penal proceeding has not been heard yet before the judge.

The Court of Justice of First Instance by its sentence no. 949/2020 accepted the claim and by a very clear legal statement obviously considered that the accused parts tort against Minos Moissis, insulted him and thus offended illegally his personality, mentioning unnecessarily and οn purpose his Jewish origin, in order to accentuate their offense.

The sentence of the Court:

1. Accepts that the article “has been dastardly and on purpose insulting the suing part. Due to the hard way the characterizations appear in total it is obvious that the aim of the third accused person (Stefanos Chios) was to address in a derogatory manner the suing part, connecting on purpose his Jewish identity with the fact that he assumed a position related to the management of the Greek debt, mentioning that his origin, precisely, is connected to a financial exploitation and because of that – according to the thoughts of the reporter – the Greek population suffers”.

2. Apportions to the sued parts that they used an “acute and divisive way of expression in order to call into question the moral, social and professional values of the suing part”.

3. Apportions to the sued parts that the “article was related with the honor and the dignity of the suing part and that they should disconnect any criticism about the actions of PQH company from the Jewish origin of the President of its Board of Directors”.

4. Apportions that the article “contributed on purpose to the reproduction of a rhetoric of hate against the Greek Jewry and that the criminal act of insulting has been realized and that their actions were illegal and thus the accused have committed a criminal act against the suing part”.

8. Obligates the sued parts to the payment of a compensation of 2.000€ each for the regaining of the honor and uprightness caused because of their offenses.

9. Obligates the newspaper to publish a resume of the sentence within 15 days from the date that the sentence becomes irrevocable and stipulates a penalty of 200€ per day for every day of delay in publishing the resume.

Minos Moissis expressed his satisfaction for a sentence which goes without saying and showed clearly a transgression and a violence of the ethics of journalism. This was simultaneously an important insightful sentence from the Court, which revealed the devious, divisive and covered rhetoric of hate reproducing Anti-Semitic stereotypes, behind negative and extremist thoughts, which seemed to be justified and protected by a pretexted journalistic interest.