The acclaimed Greek composer and orchestra conductor Mikis Theodorakis, 85, has admitted in a TV interview that he was an "anti-Semite and anti-Zionist." He said that "everything that happens today in the world has to do with the Zionists" and that "American Jews are behind the world economic crisis that has hit Greece also." Theodorakis, a member of the Greek Communist Party for 60 years and immensely popular in his home country for opposing the military dictatorship in the 1970s, once was a supporter of Israel but gradually became a major critic of the Jewish state.
In 2003, he declared that "Jews are at the root of all evil." When the Greek Jewish community reacted strongly to his statement he apologized, but apparently has not changed his views since. Oddly, during the television interview he said that "I'm an anti-Semite but I love Jews."
In the interview, Theodorakis attacked Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, who the composer says was persona non grata in Greece due to his "war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza." However, Netanyahu was leader of the opposition at the time. Referring to a visit by a delegation of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to Greece this week, Theodorakis said: "We are in danger. [...] the Zionists will gather in Greece for a conference.”