European Jewish Congress
The Algemeiner: Defending bid for Second World War reparations From Germany, Poland's deputy PM appeals for Jewish understanding
EJC in the Media
The Algemeiner: Defending bid for Second World War reparations From Germany, Poland's deputy PM appeals for Jewish understanding

To anyone who has followed Polish politics since the turn of this century, the strident language that marked political earthquakes of 2016 - from Brexit to the election of US President Donald Trump - carried a strong air of familiarity. 

In successive elections that have become unseemly tussles between EU-leaning liberals and nationalist advocates of sovereignty, Polish voters have become inured to talk of “elites” and “globalization,” and of the gulf that separates ordinary Poles from the interests and political commitments of those who purport to serve them.

Following the 2015 elections, Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS) is once again in charge. For at least a year, bitter rows have raged between Warsaw and Brussels over the direction of the country under Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, in particular regarding Poland’s controversial judicial reforms, as well as the PiS-led government’s desire to make the discussion of Polish history a target for legislation. All in all, that has resulted in Poland’s democratic image taking a battering. The general perception is that the forces of intolerance - antisemitism prominently among them - are on the rise.

Indeed, on the day last week when The Algemeiner sat down with Mateusz Morawiecki - the congenial alumnus of Northwestern University who now serves as Poland’s deputy prime minister - the European Jewish Congress had just issued a statement expressing “grave concern” at the rise in antisemitism in the country.

“Across Europe, governments consult with the local official leaders of the community to seek their counsel and coordinate a response to antisemitism,” the EJC’s president, Moshe Kantor, said. “However, Poland stands out as an example of a leadership which appears to have little interest in opening a dialogue with the Jewish community.”

Such a dialogue, the EJC believes, would include an honest assessment of the impact the rise of the Polish far-right is having upon Poland’s community of approximately 10,000 Jews, who are - according to Poland’s American-born chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich - “for first time in many years…not feeling 100 percent comfortable, as they used to.” 

Click here to read the full article in The Algemeiner

Wednesday, September 06, 2017
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