Words are barely necessary to describe this visit to Israel by the Greek Defence Minister and what is clearly an attack on the US-Iranian Accord. Kammenos is the leader of the Independent Greeks ANEL party in coalition with Syriza, but he couldn’t have signed an agreement with Israel without the agreement of Tsipras.
According to the Times of Israel Greece is planning joint military exercises with Israel, Cyprus and Egypt.
Ironically Kammenos has been accused of anti-Semitism [see Ha'aretz article below] for saying that Greek Jews pay less tax than their non-Jewish counterparts.
|Israeli navy missile ship|
By YAAKOV LAPPIN 07/19/2015
|Israel and Greece signed a status of forces accord in Tel Aviv on Sunday that offers legal defense to both militaries while training in the other’s country|
Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos visited his Israeli counterpart Moshe Ya’alon at the Defense Ministry, where the accord was signed. Israel has only ever signed a similar accord with the US.
During their meeting, Kammenos and Ya’alon discussed continued bilateral defense ties, and the latest regional situation.
“We very much appreciate your visit here during a difficult period for Greece. This underlines the importance of relations between the countries,” Ya’alon said. “We wish the Greek people and Greece itself success in its effort to overcome the economic challenge. We pray for that since we believe Greece is a very important country, with a history and a contribution to the history of humanity.”
Ya’alon paid tribute to joint training between the IDF and Greek military within Greece, adding that both countries have shared interests, and both are dealing with the impact of the agreement between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program.
“We perceive Iran as a generator and central catalyst to regional insecurity through its support to terrorist elements in the Middle East, particularly Shi’ite terrorism, though not only Shi’ite. And of course, the Iranian ambition for regional hegemony leads the regime in Tehran to undermine the stability of [other] regimes, which creates a challenge for all of us,” Ya’alon said.
Global terrorism is “also developing in our area, and is influencing the security situation in Europe as well. Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism. Today it is directed against someone else, and tomorrow it reaches you,” he added.
Kammenos said the “Greek people are very close to the people in Israel,” adding that military bilateral relations are good, and that both countries will continue to build on them through joint training. Terror - ism and jihad, he added, are not just in the Middle East, but are also present in the Balkans and Europe.
Greece is within range of Iranian missiles, he added. “If one Iranian missile makes its way to the Mediterranean, this could be the end of states in this region,” the Greek defense minister said.
As defense minister, Panos Kammenos will oversee the military ties with Israel that have become much closer in recent years.
By JTA | Jan. 29, 2015
|New Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos signs a protocol after a swearing in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Jan. 27, 2015. Photo by AP|
Panos Kammenos, a right-wing politician who said Jews don’t pay taxes, was appointed the defense minister of Greece.
Kammenos, who heads the ultranationalist Independent Greeks, was appointed to the post in the new government on Tuesday after joining the coalition of the newly elected far-left Syriza party, which won handily in Sunday’s national elections.
While the parties are far apart on most issues, they are united by a common rejection of the harsh terms imposed on Greece in the financial bailout.
Kammenos drew condemnation from Greece’s Jewish community in December after he said on television that Greek Jews don’t pay taxes — a remark denied publicly by a government official, who called it “conspiracy theories, lies and slander” that had become a part of “the dark side of the Internet.”
As defense minister, Kammenos will oversee the military ties with Israel that have become much closer in recent years. Even considering the taxes statement, he is still likely to be more pro-Israel than the Syriza lawmakers, who have taken part in protests against Israel, with some even participating in the flotillas to Gaza.
Conspiracy theories are rife in Kammenos’ ultranationalist party, which frequently blames outsiders for the economic woes befalling Greece.
A recent Anti-Defamation League poll found that anti-Semitic stereotypes are widespread iin Greece and that the country had the highest percentage of anti-Semitic views in Europe.