The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Tuesday congratulated the head of Greece’s far-left Syriza coalition for his election victory on Sunday.
Alexis Tsipras, the new prime minister, was hailed by Hamas for his opposition to “Israeli crimes, aggression, and siege on Gaza,” according to the Ma’an news agency.
After two years of waiting in the wings, Tsipras and his Syriza party stormed to power in Sunday’s snap election on a wave of anger against German-backed austerity that has driven up poverty and pushed unemployment over 25 percent.
Syriza’s ranks include an array of leftists ranging from Marxists to Greens.
The party has constantly identified itself with the Palestinian cause and its program includes a demand for abolition of Greece’s military cooperation with Israel and the support for the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. Israel and Greece have enjoyed a strong relationship and cooperation since 2008 in several aspects of military, intelligence, economy and culture.
Tsipras’ party colleagues and his own inner circle have repeatedly attacked Israel and the “Zionists” claiming that they are not anti-Semitic, just ”anti-Zionist.” Syriza’s former head, Nikos Konstandopoulos, has consistently offered his services as a defense lawyer for convicted and alleged Arab terrorists who have been arrested in Greece.
Last year, Tsipras stated that ‘’the world should make every possible effort so that Israel ends its criminal attack and brutality against Palestinians.’’
“Seeing Israel killing children in Palestine is unacceptable. We should unite our voices and forces so as to live in peace, expressing our solidarity to the Palestinian people,” he said during a march in Athens against Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza last summer.
“When civilians and children are killed at beaches facing the same sea that borders on the European continent, we cannot remain passive, because if this happens on the other side of the Mediterranean today, it can happen on our own side tomorrow,” he said.