Guardian obit for ‘Zorba the Greek’ composer omits his antisemitism

A nearly two-thousand word Sept. 2nd Guardian obituary for Mikis Theodorakis, written by Gail Holst-Warhaft, failed to note his record of explicit antisemitism.

Unlike the Guardian, an obituary in The Times devoted two paragraphs (in a much shorter piece) to Theodorakis’s anti-Jewish racism.

Though the Guardian obit for the Greek composer, best known writing the score to ‘Zorba the Greek‘, included great detail on his political activism, including his opposition to Greece’s military junta, it didn’t report that he was a self-proclaimed anti-Semite and – as the Guardian itself reported in 2003 – called Jews the “the root of all evil”.  Additionally, he accused Jews of controlling “world music”, the banks, the media and the United States.

Theodorakis also alleged that Israeli policies towards the Palestinians were like that of the Nazis.

A 2014 survey of global antisemitic attitudes commissioned by Anti-Defamation League found that Greece had the highest percentage of antisemitic attitudes in the world outside of the Middle East.

In contrast to their treatment of Theodorakis, a recent Guardian obituary for American Jewish comedian Jackie Mason informed readers that he teetered “on the edge of racism” and “antisemitism” – the latter being a laughably misguided interpretation of Mason’s well-known Borscht-Belt style of Jewish self-deprecation.

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