Official, unofficial Greek support for Palestine picks up

By Ma’an News Agency – 2 Oct 2009
www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=229188

Bethlehem – Ma’an – The announcement of a half-million Euro contribution by the Greek government coincided Thursday, with the call of the Greek Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People to boycott the participation of an Israeli archaeologist from a UNESCO event next month.

While the Greek government will help the Palestinian Authority pay private sector companies in the fields of security and the rule of law, Greek Consulate in Jerusalem announced, the popular group wants academics to boycott the UNESCO symposium on Intercultural Encounters in the Hellenized Orient.

Among the speakers at the event, organized by the Greek delegation to UNESCO, is Israeli professor Ehud Netzer, scheduled to lecture on The Near East: Judea and Hellenism. Netzer, according to the group, has been the “leader of many illegal excavations in occupied Jerusalem and in the West Bank.” The group further said the academic has “violated international and humanitarian laws” in conducting his work.

“It seems disgraceful and provocative that a country which has destroyed so much of the archeological heritage of Palestine, be invited to participate in a symposium about culture,” a statement from the group said.

As the Greek government delivers cash in three installments, through the European Union’s PEGASE program, to be “pumped to the companies that provide the needs of the PA security forces in the West Bank including the civil defense forces and the ministry of justice,” the boycott group is asking President of the General Conference of UNESCO, and Permanent Delegate of Greece to UNESCO Georgios Anastasopoulos for a validation to his decision to invite Netzer.

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