“The Jewish community is examining the situation,” said the head of the Greek Jewish community in Salonika, a city that in the 17th century was a majority-Jewish metropolis. He was referring to the 7 percent of the vote that Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party, received in elections Sunday. “Right now, Golden Dawn is not coming out against Jews,” he added. “Instead, it attacks immigrants. Still, there are right-wing extremists, and we need to assess the situation and see how Greece’s democracy will deal with this. There is no reason for worry.” Unless, that is, you count the 21 seats (out of 300) Golden Dawn will have in the new parliament; the 750,000 Greeks who cast their vote for the party (as opposed to the 5,000 Greek Jews), a massive gain from the last elections; and the anti-Semitism that some report at party rallies.
And then there is Golden Dawn founder and leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos giving a victory speech (h/t Neil Ungerleider), after, charmingly, one of his goons berates journalists for not standing and showing proper respect.
“We will continue the struggle for a Greece liberated from global speculators,” Michaloliakos declares. “For a Greece without the slavery of the bailout agreement and the surrender of our national sovereignty. For a Greece that will not be a social jungle because of the millions of illegal immigrants they brought into our homeland, without asking us.”
Am I being paranoid? “The new dawn of Hellenism is rising,” Michaloliakos adds. “For those who betray this homeland, the time has come to fear.” And he concludes: “In the end, I want to dedicate this victory to all of our brave lads, who wear the black T-shirts with the ancient letters ‘Golden Dawn.’ ”
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.