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Model of Diplomacy: A Greek Returning Gifts

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Theodoros Pangalos, member Greek Parliament


Theodoros Pangalos, a 70-year-old Member of the Greek Parliament, received three bottles of wine as a holiday gift, with best wishes from Israel’s Ambassador, Ali Giachia. (Wikipedia lists him as Ali Yihiye.)


In a Trojan horse reversal, Pangalos returned this gift and thanked the Ambassador with the following letter:

Dear Mr. Ambassador,

Thank you for the 3 bottles of wine that you sent me as season’s greetings. I wish to you, your family and everybody in the Embassy a happy new year. Good health and progress to you all.

Unhappily, I noticed that the wine you have sent me has been produced in the Golan Heights. I have been taught since I was very young not to steal and not to accept products of theft. So I cannot possibly accept this gift and I must return it back to you.



As you know, your country occupies illegally the Golan Heights which belongs to Syria, according to the International Law and numerous decisions of the International Community.

I take the opportunity to express my hope that Israel will find security within its internationally recognized borders and the terrorist activities against Israel territory by Hamas or anybody else will be contained and made impossible, but I also hope that your government will cease practicing the policy of collective punishment which was applied on a mass scale by Hitler and his armies.

Actions such as those of these days of the Israel military in Gaza remind the Greek people of holocausts such as in Kalavrita or Doxato or Distomo and certainly in the ghetto of Warsaw.

With these thoughts allow me to express to you my best wishes for you, the Israeli people and all the people of our region of the world.

Athens, 30/12/2008

Theodoros Pangalos, Member of Parliament (Greece)


Wikipedia tells us that the Greek name Θεόδωρος (Theodōros) means "gift of god" (from the Greek words Θεός, (theos) "God" and δώρον (dōron) "gift".  Pangalos’ words seem to have a gift of divine diplomacy.


Author’s notes:
A well-traveled fellow of Middle Eastern descent, who sent this to me, wrote, “what is remarkable, is that he (Israel’s Ambassador) is likely an Arab! One of those few who are integrated into the Israeli State, maybe a Druse. I've never encountered a Jew named Ali.”

RESOURCES: http://www.parliament.gr/english/synthesh/mp.asp?MPID=516

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http://www.merylannbutler.com

Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing for over 25 years. She studied art with Harold Ransom Stevenson in Sea Cliff NY for seven years before opening her own art school. Stevenson had (more...)
 

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Real cojones there. It's about time someone st... by Kathy Stuart on Thursday, Jan 15, 2009 at 9:31:54 AM
This gesture is profound. Thank you for posting th... by William Whitten on Thursday, Jan 15, 2009 at 1:29:58 PM
letter of thanks sent to Mr PangalosTheodoros Pang... by John Hill on Thursday, Jan 15, 2009 at 1:45:30 PM
of course, no nation is free of sin, but the curre... by Rady Ananda on Thursday, Jan 15, 2009 at 3:37:18 PM
and that's EXACTLY what I admire about this gu... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Jan 15, 2009 at 3:52:15 PM
Kudos to Mr. Pangalos for returning the bottles of... by eileen kuch on Thursday, Jan 15, 2009 at 8:08:16 PM
Thanks, Mary Ann, for posting. I always love your ... by JoAnn Walker on Thursday, Jan 15, 2009 at 8:56:07 PM
for your kind words!... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Jan 16, 2009 at 2:35:27 AM