Polish prime minister has no right to put Poland as a model to follow

@PLinIsrael / Twitter
@PLinIsrael / Twitter

Poland supports Israeli sovereignty, fights against anti-Semitism and creates a safe space for Jews whose ancestors it saved during the war. This is the picture you can see in the latest interview by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for the “The Jerusalem Post“.

At the beginning of this year, the issue of the amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance dominated Polish-Israeli relations. According to new law it was possible to punish with imprisonment for “attributing co-responsibility of Polish nation for the Holocaust.” The amendment was changed in June, which was also associated with a joint declaration of the prime ministers Morawiecki and Netanyahu, criticized then by eminent historians, including from the Yad Vashem Institute.

“I am happy that we managed to reach an agreement with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We issued a joint declaration, stressing that our nations should support themselves in the fight against such a narrative [about the co-responsibility of Poles for the Holocaust]. Not only because it is grossly flawed, but also because it reduces the responsibility of those who were responsible for it,” said Polish prime minister.

He also stressed that Poland is a safe country for Jews, because the number of anti-Semitic incidents is decreasing. In Poland – notes Morawiecki – there is no need to protect the synagogues in a special way, in contrast to the countries of Western Europe.

“We, of course, condemn all hatred against the Jews and pursue it with full force,” convinces the prime minister.

I understand the need to say this in an Israeli newspaper, but I think the prime minister himself realizes that it is not true. Maybe he should consult with his government colleague, Minister of Justice, Zbigniew Ziobro, information about how prosecutors treat anti-Semitic statements. How many such incidents – despite notifications – are not classified by investigators as punishable acts, and are not included in the statistics?

All you need to do is browse through the YouTube Channel of ex-priest Jacek Miedlar to see how much Poland respects its minorities, with particular emphasis on the Jewish one. Does the prosecutor’s office see something wrong in the publicistics of the ex-priest? We know perfectly well that it do not. Miedlar can call for “harvests on Jews” and nothing threatens him for it, because the prosecutors protects the value of freedom of speech, forgetting that it is not identical with the freedom to sow hatred.

As long as these attitudes are tolerated by the Polish justice system and the Polish authorities, the prime minister has no right to put Poland as a model to follow.

About the Author
Katarzyna Markusz is a journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Jewish.pl and a correspondent of JTA. She is doing research about Jewish life in Sokolow-Podlaski, Poland before and during the WWII.
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