'Zorba The Greek' Composer:
Jews Are 'The Root Of Evil'
Israel Complains To Greece About Composer

By Haaretz Service and The Associated Press

Israel has complained to the Greek government about comments by composer Mikis Theodorakis, who called Jews "the root of evil" and dismissed key Biblical figures as mere "shadows," a diplomatic source said Wednesday.
The source, who requested anonymity, said the Israeli Embassy in Athens pointed out the "gravity" of the remarks by Theodorakis, who is best known for the score of the 1964 film "Zorba the Greek."
The Foreign Ministry issued a statement denouncing the comments as "anti-Semitic" and expressing "sorrow that such remarks were made by a personality of his stature."
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has also found that Israel is perceived as a provocative, unreliable country whose agenda is controlled by a handful of settlers, Army Radio reported Wednesday.
The findings were contained in a draft document on Israel's image in the world, which also indicated rising international criticism against Israeli policies, the radio reported.
Sympathy for the Palestinians is high in Greece and protests are often held to criticize Israel's actions in the Palestinian territories.
"We are two nations without brothers in the world, us and the Jews, but they have fanaticism and are forceful," Theodorakis said at a November 4 news conference to promote his book "Where Can I Find My Soul." The event was attended by some senior government officials.
"Today we can say that this small nation is the root of evil, not of good, which means that too much self importance and too much stubbornness is evil," he told the audience of journalists and officials, including Cultural Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Education Minister Petros Efthimiou.
According to the daily Apogevmatini, Theodorakis said Greece "did not turn aggressive like them" because of its rich history.
"They only had Abraham and Jacob, shadows... We had the great Pericles here," Theodorakis was quoted as saying.
Theodorakis often grabs headlines with his blunt remarks, particularly against the U.S. government. After the U.S.-led attacks on Iraq, he described Americans as "disgusting, cruel and cowardly murderers."
Israeli and Jewish leaders have expressed fears of a resurgence in anti-Semitism in Europe. European and EU leaders have also condemned the results of a recent Eurobarometer poll, indicating that 59 percent of the EU's citizens consider Israel the main threat to peace, closely followed by the United States, Iran and North Korea, each with 53 percent.




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