Poland’s right-wing party leader calls Israel a ‘modern-day miracle’

Jaroslaw Kaczynski at the “From The Depths Zabinski Awards” in Warsaw, Sept. 18, 2017. (Courtesy of From the Depths)
Jaroslaw Kaczynski at the “From The Depths Zabinski Awards” in Warsaw, Sept. 18, 2017. (Courtesy of From the Depths)

Jaroslaw Kaczynski at the “From The Depths Zabinski Awards” in Warsaw, Sept. 18, 2017. (Courtesy of From the Depths)

(JTA) – The person widely regarded as the most powerful politician in Poland called Israel a “great country” whose establishment is a “modern-day miracle.”

In a speech Monday, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a founder of Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice Party, also condemned anti-Semitism and attempts to boycott the Jewish state. [Read more…]

Comment

Pole who burned haredi effigy says he’ll sue Jewish leaders for calling him an anti-Semite

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – A Polish man sentenced to prison for burning an effigy of a haredi Orthodox Jew said he will sue the leaders of the Wroclaw Jewish community for publicly naming him an anti-Semite.

Piotr Rybak burned the effigy during a 2015 demonstration in Wroclaw against accepting refugees in Poland. An appeals court reduced his prison sentence to three months after a Wroclaw court had sentenced him to 10 months. He later explained that it was meant to represent George Soros, the Hungarian-Jewish billionaire and philanthropist who has advocated for a common European asylum policy. [Read more…]

Comment

Warsaw residents join Shabbat dinner to mark anniversary of start of World War II

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – Warsaw residents participated in a Shabbat dinner to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.

Gołda Tencer, the director of the Jewish Theatre and the Shalom Foundation, organized a Shabbat dinner Friday night for the inhabitants of Warsaw on the square in the centre of the Polish capital. A few hundred people took part, most of them non-Jews who had never sat participated in a Jewish Shabbat meal. [Read more…]

Comment

European Jewish Congress slams Poland’s ‘lack of concern’ over anti-Semitism

(JTA) – In an unusually harsh condemnation, the European Jewish Congress (EJC) said the Polish government has a “staggering lack of concern” about anti-Semitism and a “transparent divide-and-rule tactic” vis-à-vis Jews.

The statement Thursday follows an open feud between leaders of Polish Jewry on whether Poland has seen an increase in anti-Semitic incidents or sentiment since the rise to power of the nationalist Law and Justice Party in 2015. [Read more…]

Comment

Polish tourism chief fired after saying he removed Auschwitz from journalists’ itineraries

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – The president of the national tourist organization in Poland was fired after noting in a newspaper interview that he had removed the Auschwitz memorial from the itinerary for foreign journalists’ visits.

Marek Olszewski, who has held his post since March, also suggested a similar move for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw in the Gazeta Wyborcza story published Wednesday . [Read more…]

Comment

Polish historian seeks to exhume bodies of Jews murdered by neighbours in 1941

(JTA) – A historian in Poland is seeking the exhumation of bodies of Jews murdered by Polish villagers, citing a witness whom he said claims that Germans organized the slaughter.

Krzysztof Krasowski, an economist and historian from Bialystok, wrote to the regional office of the Institute of National Remembrance, or IPN, last month with the request for exhumation in the village of Jedwabne, the PAP news agency reported Wednesday. Krasowski cited the testimony of an 89-year-old woman identified in the Polish media only as Antonina K. [Read more…]

Comment

Polish Jews call out leading politicians for not fighting anti-Semitism

(JTA) – Flagging what she called a “low point” for Polish Jews’ feeling of security, a leader of that community urged the country’s right-wing ruling party to help fight anti-Semitism.

The unusual appeal came in an open letter sent last week by Leslaw Piszewski, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, and Anna Chipczynska, who heads the Warsaw community, to a founder of the Law and Justice Party. It was the first of its kind in Poland in recent decades, Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich said. [Read more…]

Comment