Sep 29, 2022
JERUSALEM WEATHER
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Greek Right-wing lawmaker Dimitris Kammenos on Wednesday night resigned—over anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks—from the post of the Deputy Infrastructure Minister, a mere 12 hours after the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s new cabinet following Sunday’s snap national election.

Kammenos was accused of making fun of EU supporters last June, posting a photoshopped image of the gate of Auschwitz, with the infamous slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free) replaced with “We Stay in Europe,” on his Facebook page. At the time, the posting raised a scandal, and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece protested the callused use of the death camp to make a political point.

Kammenos later tweeted kind of an apology: “The comparison may have been unfortunate but there is an economic holocaust under way in my country!”

From the tweet itself, despite its obvious crudeness, it doesn’t appear that the shortest serving government official in recent memory is an anti-Semite. However, Kammenos has also been accused of supporting a conspiracy theory that 2,500 Jewish World Trade Center employees received an early warning and stayed home on September 11, 2001.

The inclusion of Kammenos and four other members of the Independent Greeks party Prime Minister Tsipras’s government caused an outrage in Greece. The party’s leader, Panos Kammenos, is the new defense minister.

Also last June, news came out that Kammenos had called the Athens gay pride parade “pathetic,” and other homophobic comments by him were found on his social media accounts.

The two-party coalition government has 155 seats in the 300-member Greek parliament (with 145 for left-wing Syriza and 10 for the right-wing Anel).