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?The Jewish community in Greece has a very colorful and intriguing past, but it is also a history filled with undeserved discriminatory acts and hatred.? The earliest Jews came to Greece either in chains or because of persecution, and soon experienced more hardships and troubles.? And just when Greece had overcome its discrimination and its Jews began to breathe easily, the worst persecution of all befell the community.? The Jewish community in Greece was once large and prominent.? In fact, ?the country once boasted some of the most distinguished and ancient Jewish communities in the world.1 But only a shadow of its once glorious past remains, and Jews are currently facing discrimination today.? The best example of Greek Jewry is the city of Thessaloniki, which exemplifies the shifting community throughout history.? Greek Jews are still facing discrimination, but hopefully, Greek sentiment will change.
Greek Jews Throughout History
?Scholars are unsure when Jews first settled on the Greek isles, but most agree the earliest were slaves ?forcibly transported to Greece by way of Cyprus, Ionia, and the Greek isles by various enemies of Judah during the biblical period.?2? Jews came in waves to Greece, usually sold into slavery during wars, such as the Hasmonean War and the Maccabean Wars.? Later, when Rome conquered Asia, even more Jews came to Greece to escape Roman rule, and their numbers continued to increase.? Erich Kahler believes that this is just one reason why the number of Jews in Greece increased so steadily.? The other explanation is ?that Judaism was the first proselytizing religion, the first religion with a mission not only for its own tribe, but fo...
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...aughtered Jews.?? The Times Higher Education Supplement? iss. 1241 (Aug. 16 1996):? 18.
Murphy, Brian.? ?Israel Complains About Greek Composer?s ?Anti-Semitic? Comments.?? Associated Press Worldstream.? 12 Nov. 2003, International News.
?State Department Backs US Envoy to Greece in Spat with Athens.?? Agence France Presse.? 14 Nov. 2003, Domestic.
?Vandals Attack Jewish Site in Northern Greece.?? Associated Press Worldstream, 9 Oct. 2003, International News.
?Vandals Spray Holocaust Monument in Greece.?? Agence France Presse, 9 Oct. 2003, International News.
Varouhakis, Miron.? ?Jewish Group Issues Olympic Threat Over Suicide Bombings Exhibit.?? Associated Press Worldstream.? 9 Oct. 2003, International News.
?Wiesenthal Center Urges Jews to Avoid ?Xenophobic? Greece Before Olympics.?? Associated Press Worldstream.? 20 Nov. 2003, International News.
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