Polish neo-fascists gathering for an Independence Day march, Nov. 12, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Agencja Gazeta / Adam Stepien.

Accusations that American Jews are conspiring to squeeze billions of dollars out of Poland in Holocaust reparations, along with wild claims that Polish Jews were behind the Soviet deportations of Polish citizens during World War II, have spread like wildfire across the Polish media in recent days, after the country’s Senate approved widely-condemned legislation prohibiting discussion of Polish collusion with the Nazi genocide of the Jews.

One observer in Warsaw compared the present atmosphere in Poland to 1968 — when thousands of Jews were purged and driven into exile by an antisemitic campaign targeting “Zionists” that was led by the ruling Communist Party. The observer pointed to an unsigned editorial on the website of the pro-government TV Republika on Monday that accused the “Jewish community in Poland and its representative institutions” of “too rarely and too weakly defending Poland and the Poles in the international arena.”

The current conflict over the Holocaust legislation — which is scheduled to be signed into law by President Andrzej Duda later this month — “is a big test of loyalty for the Polish Jews whose organizations are linked personally and institutionally with American Jews,” the editorial said.

A number of recent cases of the use of antisemitic rhetoric in Poland were reported by the anti-fascist NGO “Nigdy Wiecej” (“Never Again”), which described them as “deeply alarming.”

Speaking on national television on Saturday night, Ryszard Czarnecki — the Polish vice president of the European Parliament — denounced “the circles of American Jews,” and claimed that Jews in the US “have often been even more aggressive” toward Poland “than the Jewish circles in Israel.”

Czarnecki, who represents the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) Party, approvingly quoted a maxim of Roman Dmowski — a violently antisemitic nationalist leader prominent in Poland during the inter-war years — declaring, “I am a Polish politician and I have Polish duties.”

Conventionally regarded as a mainstream conservative politician, Czarnecki even traveled to Israel in 2007, writing admiringly of his visit to the Knesset under the headline “Shalom Israel!” But his invocation of an organized Jewish campaign against Poland was strongly echoed by other leading PiS politicians. Many of them asserted that the concerns expressed by Jewish leaders about the possible censorship of Holocaust studies in Poland were a convenient mask for an offensive to secure unpaid compensation for Holocaust-era crimes.

“This is not about freedom, but about money, as always,” Sen. Jerzy Czerwinski of the PiS stated in a speech to the Polish parliament on Feb. 2. Speaking on national radio, his PiS colleague Artur Warzoch claimed that official US criticism of the Polish legislation was the result of “the activity of large lobby groups which directly influence congressmen ‎in the US and are linked with big money.”

Another PiS legislator, Sen. Jan Zaryn, warned darkly on TV Republika that “all kinds of instruments will be used, because it’s a struggle for real money … There are secret …read more

Source:: The Algemeiner


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