The Greek Golden Dawn party called for a boycott of Estee Lauder cosmetic products after World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder urged Greece to ban the neo-Nazi group.
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Due to the “hostile attack on Greek sovereignty, freedom, and interests, Lauder’s cosmetics monopoly Estee Lauder must be boycotted,” said a statement on the website of Golden Dawn’s New York branch.
Lauder, speaking at a ceremony on March 17 to commemorate the destruction of the historic Jewish community in Thessaloniki by the Nazis, called on Greece to take a tougher stance against Golden Dawn.
Golden Dawn slammed Lauder for interfering in Greek politics. “An institution that is not Greek and does nothing to contribute to Greek well-being is demanding [Greek Prime Minister Antonis] Samaras ban the third largest party, which enjoys up to 18 percent of the electorate's support, all in the name of liberal democracy nonetheless,” the statement on Golden Dawn's website said.
“The World Jewish Congress claims to speak on behalf of Greece’s 5,000 Jews. Why does Samaras care more about the opinions of 5,000 over 1 million Greeks, if Greece is truly a democracy?” the statement continued.
The WJC responded on Thursady to the boycott call comparing it to actions of the German Nazi government, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
"Both in words and in actions these fanatics behave like the Nazis did 80 years ago," said Maram Stern, deputy secretary-general of the WJC.
Golden Dawn erupted onto the political scene last year, winning seven percent of the vote, or 18 seats, in Greece's 300-member Parliament. Recent polls have indicated the party, which runs on a fierce anti-immigrant platform, now has between 14 to 18 percent of the population’s support.
In addition to the WJC, many Jewish and international groups have condemned Golden Dawn as being racist and anti-Semitic.