The deepening relationship between Greece and Israel, which over the course of the last 12 years has acquired strategic characteristics, complements – essentially follows – the visionary cooperation that the Greek and Jewish communities in America have developed over decades.

The symbolism of Athens and Jerusalem for Western democracies is self-evident, while geography makes Greece and Israel, along with Cyprus, a natural axis of cooperation with multiple benefits for all participants. Given these facts, it was difficult for many – including the writer who often felt like a lonely voice in the desert – to explain the long delay in Greece and Israel coming closer together. But it has happened and that is what is important now.

The warming of relations begun by former socialist prime minister George Papandreou, starting with his meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow in February 2010, was immediately followed by an exchange of visits by the two leaders in July to Jerusalem, and in August to Athens.

And it has been continued by all Greek premiers of different political convictions and factions: conservative Antonis Samaras, leftist Alexis Tsipras, and the current conservative Kyriakos Mitsotakis. It is clearly a bipartisan strategy, a national choice that ensures its continuation over time.

At the same time, the initiative to organize the 2022 Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism – Safeguarding Inclusive Democracy in Athens, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday, reflects Greek sensitivities and attitudes at the level of local governments too.

In this environment of warming relations between the two peoples and close cooperation between Hellenism and the Jewish community, the new head of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Ted Deutch, chose to visit Athens shortly after assuming his new duties.

His participation in the event organized on Thursday by Kathimerini, in collaboration with the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) and the Delphi Economic Forum, on the future of Greece’s relationship with its diaspora was of special value. Actually, Hellenism can learn many lessons from Israel’s highly effective cooperation with the Jewish community around the world.

Deutch begins his tenure with the best of signs. The positive attitude he has shown in matters of Greek interest during his 12-year presence in the US House of Representatives leads effortlessly to the conclusion that he will contribute decisively to the deepening of an already very strong relationship.

At the same time, the positive role of Greece and Cyprus in terms of Israel’s access to the EU, and the strong ties of all three democracies with the US, make their cooperation a factor of geopolitical stability in a volatile region.

The conditions are favorable at the level of political leaders and peoples. For reasons of historical significance and symbolism, but also of substance, the relationship between Greeks and Jews, at the level of nations and diasporas, is developing into a promising success story.