Antisemitic Greek Paper Under Fire for Conspiracy-Laden Attack on Jewish CEO of Pfizer
A Greek newspaper with a record of promoting hatred toward Jews through graphic headlines and images has launched an antisemitic campaign targeting the CEO of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
The newspaper, Makeleio, has run a series of incendiary articles this week attacking Pfizer chief Albert Bourla — a Greek national who was born in to a Jewish family in the northern city of Thessaloniki — following the company’s announcement on Monday of a 90-percent success rate in its coronavirus vaccine trial.
On Tuesday, the paper’s lurid front page featured a photograph of Bourla with the notorious German SS officer Josef Mengele, who carried out brutal medical “experiments” on inmates at Auschwitz, standing behind him. A third image showed striped concentration camp uniforms alongside a headline that read, “Jewish veterinarian will stick a needle in us! Nightmarish forced admissions in ‘concentration camps’ like herds.”
An accompanying article identified Bourla as a “Greek Jew” and accused him of engaging in financial speculation with an unproven vaccine at the expense of the Greek people.
A further article published on Thursday morning repeated the accusations against Bourla, with a screeching headline claiming that the “Greek Jew” had “trousered millions” on behalf of the “Israeli Council.”
The Greek Jewish community meanwhile issued a strong condemnation of Makeleio, charging the newspaper with inciting violence against Jews.
In a statement on Thursday, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) declared that the front page featuring Bourla alongside Mengele “overwhelms us with outrage and repulsion, as its content perpetuates hatred and bigotry against the Jews and it becomes — once more — the carrier of the most hideous antisemitic propaganda.”
Continued the KIS: “The identification of the CEO of Pfizer with Mengele, the so-called butcher of Auschwitz, is an appalling and unethical assault against Albert Bourla only because he is a Jew. The huge-lettered headline is nothing but a clear incitement to violence against the Jews.”
Makeleio was last week ordered to pay a $2,200 fine by a court in Athens after its publisher was convicted of defamation for an opinion piece that smeared Greek Jewish leader Minos Moissis.
The publisher, Stefanos Chios, described Moissis as a “crude Jew who runs a loan-shark firm has bought the debts of poor Greeks.”
The court’s penalty came as Chios — who is no stranger to controversy — was recovering from an attempt on his life over the summer.
On July 27, Chios was shot in the neck and chest by an unidentified assailant outside his home in Athens. Greek police are still searching for the gunman and a male accomplice.