Letter to the Israeli Ambassador in Athens from Theodoros Pangalos, member of the Greek Parliament

Dear Mr. Ambassador,

Allow me to thank you for the three wine bottles you sent me for the holidays. My best wishes to your family, to members of your embassy and a good and happy New Year. Good health and progress for all.

Unfortunately, I have noticed that the wine you offered me was produced on the Golan Heights. I have always known since my childhood years that one should neither commit nor accept the proceeds of robbery. I, therefore, cannot accept this gift and must send it back to you.

As everybody knows, and according to International Law and numerous decisions of the International Community, your country continues to illegally occupy the Golan Heights belonging to Syria.

I take this occasion to express my hope that Israel may achieve security inside recognized borders and that terrorist activities against its territory, be it by Hamas or others, will be contained and prevented; and I also hope that your government will cease its practice of collective punishment such as was practiced on a total scale by Hitler and his armies.

Actions as those being taken at present by the Israeli army in Gaza remind me of the Holocaust suffered by the Greeks of Kalavrita, Doxato, Distomo and certainly also that perpetrated in the Warsaw Ghetto.

With these thoughts, permit me to express my best wishes to yourself, the citizens of Israel and the entire region.

Athènes, 30/12/2008