Mikis: “I don’t care to be pro-Jewish or pro-Palestinian. I am pro-justice, pro-peace and pro-freedom!!”  In 1994, after the signing of the famous Oslo Accords – where the Independent Palestinian Authority was recognized – in the presence of Simon Peres and Yasser Arafat, they celebrated the signing by playing “Mauthausen” (which, in the meantime, became the “national song” of Israel) and the Anthem for Palestine, both composed by Mikis Theodorakis, in recognition of his contribution to the cause of peace in this region.

Βy Nick Stamatakis

Only a Hellene with supreme conscience of history and a profound “duty” to humanity, only someone with the stature of Mikis Theodorakis would achieve this ultimate accomplishment: To compose the national song of the Jewish people, the “Ballad of Mauthausen”, lamenting the horrors of the Holocaust in the Austrian concentration camp of Mauthausen, and about fifteen years later compose the first National Anthem of Palestine, approved by the Palestinian Parliament in Beirut in 1982, with Yasser Arafat present!!

You can read this little-known but very didactic part of history below… But in moments like this, we can truly measure the value of our Hellenic heritage and identity.  It is through the words of Mikis Theodorakis who answered those, both Israelis and Palestinians – who accused him of favoring the other side: “I don’t care to be”pro-Jewish” or “pro-Palestinian”.  I am pro-justice, pro-peace and pro-freedom!!” 

Theodorakis wrote his most beautiful music for the Holocaust, Mauthausen (link here for the fantastic context). Critics have said as much.  He visited Israel repeatedly and gave performances. “Mauthausen” rose to be the “national song” of Israel…He helped the cause of peace as few people have. Yet when he opened his mouth and spoke his mind in an infamous 2003 interview with the newspaper Haaretz, calling out one of the biggest problems on the road to peace, the “Jewish sense of supremacy,” Orchestras around the world controlled by Jewish directors started boycotting his music. And the Academy of Norway did not give him a well-deserved peace prize…  They did not accomplish much, though – they were too small to compare with Mikis’s talent and moral stature.  The Israeli people, who were always and are today the biggest lovers of Greek music, and are in their majority peace-loving people, never forgot Mikis.

As for his Anthem for Palestine, politics never allowed it to become the real anthem officially.  According to some journalists, Andreas Papandreou, Greek PM in the 1980s and 1990s, and a close friend of Arafat, made sure of that. Let’s say, Papandreou and Mikis were never “close”… And the State of Palestine was never established. Maybe one day in the not-too-distant future, they will replace the current anthem, “Fidai” (link here), with the beautiful anthem below, written by Mikis…

December 11, 2023, n.stamatakis@aol.com   www.helleniscope.com

DISCLAIMER: The views and statements expressed in this article constitute constitutionally protected opinions of this author.






In 1971, Mikis Theodorakis visited Israel to present the work “The Ballad of Mauthausen.” Immediately after, he visited the capital of Lebanon, Beirut, for the presentation of his autobiography “The Duty”, translated into Arabic. He is already known worldwide for his musical work, but especially for his anti-dictatorship action; in Beirut, he is warmly welcomed by Lebanese and Palestinians (Beirut was then the “headquarters” granted by the Lebanese to the Palestinians). Warmly, but also…pouting, as if dissatisfied with his visit to Israel a little while ago.

In the press conference that followed, Mikis spoke shockingly in front of Lebanese, as well as Palestinians, about Peace and Brotherhood between peoples, a vision that he served and serves to this day. “You cry because I visited Israel! But you didn’t ask me what I saw in Israel! In Israel, I saw short people, tall people, blonde people, and brunettes. I saw people! People of who, some wanted war, and some wanted Peace! You must take the people who want Peace with you!”

The following day, Mikis Theodorakis met with the leadership of the *PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). There, Arafat confided to him that there were angry Palestinian youths who intended to kill him as an Israeli agent in his press conference yesterday! But those who, after his speech, recognized him as a pacifist and fighter retracted and today wanted to meet him and ask for his forgiveness! As it happened!

At Theodorakis’ meeting with the PLO members, Arafat told him: “You did well and composed Mauthausen for the Israelis. The Israelis are a people in pain! But our people, the Palestinians, are also in pain! I want you to write something for us, too!’

In 1972, Mikis Theodorakis revisited Israel, giving concerts. He meets with the then Deputy Prime Minister Alon, who asks him to deliver a message to Arafat. Indeed, immediately afterward, he meets with Arafat, to whom he gives the message of the Israeli Government and tries to convince him to start talks with the other side. Since then, he has often played the role of informal ambassador between the two sides.

In 1976, Mikis Theodorakis founded the “Culture of Peace” Movement and gave lectures and concerts throughout Greece and abroad.


In 1981, Yasser Arafat visited Greece as the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization. During his stay in Greece, he met with the then MP (with the communist party KKE) Mikis Theodorakis. He asked him to compose an anthem for the PLO, which will be proposed as the official anthem of the Palestinian State when its official establishment is achieved! At the beginning of the following year (1982), Mikis Theodorakis accepted Yasser Arafat’s invitation and visited Beirut as a guest of the Lebanese Minister of Culture and the PLO, to present his work!

PHOTO: Mikis with Yasser Arafat, then a “terrorist”, at the day the Palestinian Parliament voted to approve his “Anthem”.


In Beirut, in a huge underground space that used to be the Palestinian Parliament, the leadership of the PLO welcomeD Mikis Theodorakis. Arafat announces the presentation of the work of Mikis Theodorakis, to be put up for approval as the National Anthem of Palestinians everywhere. The music starts on the cassette player (see photo 2) and reverberates throughout the room. In the end, Arafat and all the Palestinian MPs stood up and burst into rapturous applause. The anthem now had the approval of the Palestinian parliament!

It is characteristic that in 1994 the signing of the agreement between Israelis and Palestinians (where the Independent Palestinian Authority was recognized) was solemnly celebrated in Oslo, in the presence of Simon Peres and Yasser Arafat with the presentation of Mauthausen (which in the meantime, became the “national song” of Israel) and the Anthem for Palestine both composed by Mikis Theodorakis, in recognition of his contribution to the cause of peace in this region. In the same year (1994), the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Arafat, Peres, and Rabin, for their role in the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

In 1983, the Lenin Peace Prize was awarded to Mikis Theodorakis, while in 2000, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, with the support of many people of the spiritual world from every corner of the planet. The Academy denied it.



To 1971, ο Μίκης Θεοδωράκης επισκέπτεται το Ισραήλ για να παρουσιάσει το έργο «Η μπαλάντα του Μαουτχάουζεν». Αμέσως μετά, επισκέπτεται την πρωτεύουσα του Λιβάνου, Βηρυτό, για την παρουσίαση την αυτοβιογραφία του «Το Χρέος», μεταφρασμένο στα αραβικά. Όντας ήδη γνωστός παγκοσμίως για το μουσικό του έργο, αλλά και ιδιαίτερα για την αντιδικτατορική του δράση, στην Βηρυτό, τον υποδέχονται θερμά Λιβανέζοι και Παλαιστίνιοι (Η Βηρυτός ήταν η παραχωρημένη από τους Λιβανέζους «έδρα» των Παλαιστινίων). Θερμά, αλλά και …μουτρωμένοι, καθ’ ότι δυσαρεστημένοι με την επίσκεψή του στο Ισραήλ λίγο πριν. Στην συνέντευξη Τύπου που ακολούθησε, ο Μίκης μπροστά σε Λιβανέζους, αλλά και Παλαιστίνιους, μίλησε συγκλονιστικά για την Ειρήνη και την Αδελφοσύνη μεταξύ των Λαών, Όραμα που υπηρέτησε και υπηρετεί μέχρι και σήμερα. «Κλαίτε, διότι επισκέφτηκα το Ισραήλ! Δεν με ρωτήσατε όμως, τι είδα στο Ισραήλ! Στο Ισραήλ είδα κοντούς, ψηλούς, ξανθούς, μελαχρινούς. Είδα ανθρώπους! Ανθρώπους που άλλοι ήθελαν πόλεμο, και άλλοι Ειρήνη! Εσείς πρέπει να πάρετε μαζί σας τους ανθρώπους της Ειρήνης!» Την επόμενη ημέρα, ο Μίκης Θεοδωράκης συναντήθηκε με την ηγεσία του *PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization. Ελλ.: Οργάνωση για την Απελευθέρωση της Παλαιστίνης-ΟΑΠ). Εκεί, ο Αραφάτ του εκμυστηρεύεται πως υπήρχαν οργισμένοι νεολαίοι Παλαιστίνιοι που είχαν σκοπό να τον σκοτώσουν ως Ισραηλινό …πράκτορα, στην χθεσινή του Συνέντευξη Τύπου! Οι οποίοι όμως, μετά την ομιλία του τον αναγνώρισαν σαν φιλειρηνιστή και Αγωνιστή, ανακάλεσαν και σήμερα ήθελαν να τον γνωρίσουν και να του ζητήσουν συγγνώμη! Όπως και έγινε!

Στην συνάντηση του Θεοδωράκη με τα μέλη του PLO, ο Αραφάτ του είπε πως: «Καλά έκανες και συνέθεσες το Μαουτχάουζεν για τους Ισραηλινούς. Οι Ισραηλινοί είναι λαός πονεμένος! Όμως πονεμένος είναι και ο δικός μας λαός, οι Παλαιστίνιοι! Θέλω να γράψεις κάτι και για εμάς!».

Το 1972, ο Μίκης Θεοδωράκης επισκέπτεται ξανά το Ισραήλ δίνοντας συναυλίες. Συναντάται με τον τότε Αντιπρόεδρο της Κυβέρνησης Αλόν, που του ζητά να μεταφέρει μήνυμα στον Αραφάτ. Πραγματικά, αμέσως μετά συναντάται με τον Αραφάτ, στον οποίο επιδίδει το μήνυμα της Ισραηλινής Κυβέρνησης και προσπαθεί να τον πείσει να αρχίσει συζητήσεις με την άλλη πλευρά. Από τότε συνέβη πολλές φορές να παίξει τον ρόλο του άτυπου πρεσβευτή μεταξύ των δύο πλευρών.

Το 1976, o Μίκης Θεοδωράκης ιδρύει το Κίνημα «Πολιτισμός της Ειρήνης» και δίνει διαλέξεις και συναυλίες σ΄ όλη την Ελλάδα και στο Εξωτερικό.


Το 1981, ο Γιάσερ Αραφάτ επισκέπτεται την Ελλάδα, ως ηγέτης της Οργάνωσης για την Απελευθέρωση της Παλαιστίνης. Κατά την παραμονή του στην Ελλάδα, συναντάται με τον τότε βουλευτή (με το ΚΚΕ) Μίκη Θεοδωράκη και του ζητά να συνθέσει έναν ύμνο για την ΟΑΠ, ο οποίος θα προταθεί να αποτελέσει τον επίσημο ύμνο του Παλαιστινιακού Κράτους, όταν επιτευχθεί η επίσημη ίδρυσή του! Στις αρχές του επόμενου έτους (1982), ο Μίκης Θεοδωράκης αποδέχεται την πρόσκληση του Γιάσερ Αραφάτ και επισκέπτεται την Βηρυτό, ως καλεσμένος του Υπουργού Πολιτισμού του Λιβάνου και της ΟΑΠ, για να παρουσιάσει το έργο του!


Στη Βηρυτό, σε έναν τεράστιο υπόγειο χώρο που αποτελούσε την Βουλή των Παλαιστινίων, η ηγεσία του ΟΑΠ υποδέχεται τον Μίκη Θεοδωράκη. Ο Αραφάτ προαναγγέλλει την ανάκρουση του έργου του Μίκη Θεοδωράκη, για να τεθεί προς έγκριση ως Εθνικός Ύμνος των απανταχού Παλαιστινίων. Η μουσική ξεκινά στο κασετόφωνο (βλ. φωτο 2) και αντηχεί σε ολόκληρη την αίθουσα. Στο τέλος, Αραφάτ και άπαντες βουλευτές των Παλαιστινίων σηκώνονται όρθιοι και ξεσπούν σε χειροκροτήματα ενθουσιασμού. Ο ύμνος είχε πλέον και την έγκριση της παλαιστινιακής βουλής!

Είναι χαρακτηριστικό, ότι το 1994 εορτάστηκε πανηγυρικά στο Όσλο η υπογραφή της συμφωνίας μεταξύ Ισραηλινών και Παλαιστινίων (όπου αναγνωρίστηκε η Ανεξάρτητη Παλαιστινιακή Αρχή), παρουσία των Πέρες και Αραφάτ με την παρουσίαση του Μαουτχάουζεν που στο μεταξύ έχει γίνει “εθνικό τραγούδι” του Ισραήλ και του Ύμνου για την Παλαιστίνη που συνέθεσε ο Μίκης Θεοδωράκης, ως αναγνώριση και της δικής του συμβολής στην υπόθεση της ειρήνης στην περιοχή αυτή. Την ίδια χρονιά (1994), απονεμήθηκε το νόμπελ Ειρήνης στους Αραφάτ, Πέρες και Ράμπιν, για το ρόλο τους στις ειρηνευτικές συνομιλίες ανάμεσα σε Ισραηλινούς και Παλαιστινίους.

Το 1983, απονέμεται το βραβείο Λένιν για την Ειρήνη, στον Μίκη Θεοδωράκη, ενώ το 2000 είναι υποψήφιος για το Νόμπελ Ειρήνης, με την υποστήριξη πλήθους ανθρώπων του πνευματικού κόσμου από κάθε γωνιά του πλανήτη. Η Ακαδημία του το αρνείται.



Here you can enjoy the complete Ballad of Mauthausen – considered the most beautiful of all Theodorakis music…


  1. [VIDEO] Palestinian Christians – a history of oppression and displacement

    The Stones Cry Out – YouTube

    Nov 26, 2023
    Christianity was born in Palestine two thousand years ago. From there it spread throughout the Middle East and to the rest of the world. Yet many are unaware Christians still live in the land.

    For more than 60 years the Palestinians, Christians and Muslims, have suffered displacement, expulsion, wars, occupation and oppression.

    The voices of Palestinian Christians have all too often been drowned out in the turmoil of events.

    This is their story, in their voices, from the Nakba of 1948 until today.

    I can’t put links because of YT rules so here it is – thestonescryoutmovie dot com

    Fair use for educational purposes – This full documentary is meant to give a completely different side that the global media does not discuss. What happened to the Christians in Palestine? “The Stones Cry Out”

    From the website – about the film – In 1948, tens of thousands of Palestinian villagers were driven from their homes in what was officially dubbed “Operation Broom”, intended to literally sweep tens of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in the fertile hills and valleys of the Galilee, and make way for settlers in the newly created state of Israel.

    Elias Chacour, now the Archbishop of the Galilee, was just a little boy when Israeli troops ordered his family out of the Christian village of Kifr Bir’am. He left the village with a blanket on his shoulder, walking to his new home, a cave.

    Today Kifr Bir’am is an Israeli national park, the houses of the village are crumbling, the church is abandoned.

    After the Galilee came the expropriation of the West Bank in 1967, the settlements, the wall. Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, is now hemmed in by the wall, cut off from Jerusalem, and robbed of much of its agricultural land.

    All too often media coverage of the conflict in Palestine has framed it as a fight between Muslims and Jews, largely ignoring the fact that Palestine was the birthplace of Christianity, that Palestinians are both Muslims and Christians, and that Palestinian Christians have played a critical role in their land’s history and the struggle to maintain its identity.

    From 1948 up to today, through wars and uprisings, leading Palestinian Christians, including the late President of Beir Zeit University Gabi Baramki, Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi, civil society activist Ghassan Andoni, Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah and others recount the unwavering and sometimes desperate struggle of all Palestinians to resist Israel’s occupation and stay on their land.

    Please share this link with others


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