Therefore it was not surprising to read in the Thessaloniki blog “ta xalia”, which, with great modesty bills itself as “Macedonia’s No. 1 blog”, a recent post with the title “In truth what is to become with the swine flu”. In this post the (eponymous) author argues that some years ago, because of some Europeans companies' interest in obtaining cheap chickens from China that was adversely affecting the KFC fast food chain, which according to the post, serves “Jewish interests”, the American Jewish lobby invented the bird flu to stop Europeans from buying chickens from China. The author proceeds to conclude the post by implying that some American Jewish interests must have been affected this time around, hence the swine flu.
Now, as I posted earlier, it was a matter of time until Jews were going to be blamed for the swine flu. Amusingly enough, I pointed out to a conspiracy theory about a Chinese-Jewish collusion aiming at exterminating, presumably, those who are neither Chinese nor Jewish. But the post in "Ta xalia" tries to draw a parallel with a previous influenza epidemic and the alleged involvement of the American Jewish lobby to protect the interests of a “Jewish” company. Here’s where this conspiracy theory begins to unravel:
KFC (formerly known as “Kentucky Fried Chicken”) is owned by Yum! Brands, which is a publicly traded company and which, in addition to KFC, owns a number of other fast food chains worldwide. The board of Yum! Brands consists of a number of people, some of whom may or may not be Jewish and some are definitely not, judging from their surnames. The two largest individual stockholders have Italian and Chinese surnames and the major institutional stockholders are the typical banks, capital and mutual fund management companies, which invest in profitable publicly-traded corporations like Yum! Brands.
Yum! Brands has major operations in China and the company buys its “raw” materials, which is slaughtered chickens, from whomever can provide these more cheaply and certainly from local sources (so KFC in China buys China-raised chickens, KFC in Greece buys chickens from Greek chicken farms and so on). Therefore KFC has no interest whatsoever to inflate artifically chicken prices in parts of the world or cut off one of its major suppliers. Furthermore, bird flu epidemics keep recurring every few years and most of them outside China (most recently in the Netherlands, I believe). The 2002 epidemic originated not in China but in very crowded Hong Kong, which exports no chickens, but where, because of the high population density, small farm animals and birds live in close proximity to humans.
It is not clear how the outbreak of the recent influenza epidemic caused by the swine-origin A/H1N1 virus (dubbed by the media as the "swine flu"), which originated in Mexico, serves interests of Jewish companies but this is left implied in the post since the author’s fertile imagination has, by now, run out of steam. He makes the usual half-baked arguments about companies profiting from selling vaccines, which, however, are not exclusively American pharmaceutical companies. The bottom line is that antisemites will recycle old lies and fabrications in order to draw parallels with current events.
Unfortunately this is not the first time that "Ta xalia" engages in antisemitic provocation. In another recent post, a different author complains about leaflets, circulating in Thessaloniki, promoting commemoration of the Holocaust, in part because, as he argues, this happened more than 60 years ago. He then proceeds to argue that we should have been commemorating the killings of Pontian Greeks and the destruction of the Pontian Greek communities by the Turks which took place …almost 90 years ago. But this is not really the point. Indeed, official Greece and modern Greeks ought to commemorate the destruction of any vibrant and very old Greek community. It is the language that the author uses, however, which is highly objectionable. He laments that “…we did not build next to [the Jewish Holocaust] monument another monument for the Pontian Holocaust, which, as Greeks, we had and have the sacred obligation…”.
Now, Pontians were Greeks and we Greeks have an obligation to remember them. But wait a minute! The Greek Jews who were killed, were they not Greeks? Is it not the moral obligation of the citizens of Thessaloniki and of the other Greek cities with Jewish communities hundreds or even thousands years old to remember and commemorate the destruction of those communities, the deportation and murder of their neighbors, co-workers, compatriots? Well, apparently not according to the author of this post who proceeds to spout the usual conspiracy theories "linking" Zionism, Masons, the Bilderberg club, the Club of Rome, the IMF... good God, Jews everywhere! Here, in a nutshell, is one of the hallmarks of Greek antisemitism: Greek Jews are not Greeks, they are foreigners involved in conspiracies that serve their nefarious aims and, therefore, by implication they do not have Greece's interests at heart and so they deserve no monuments.