Rising Anti-Semitism in Poland Is Detailed in New ADL Report
New York, NY, September 12, 2006 … Anti-Semitism and intolerance in Poland have risen to new levels since the formulation of a coalition government in May 2006, according to a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
"Poland: Democracy and the Challenge of Extremism," details what ADL calls "the persistence of anti-Semitism" by examining a range of issues, including the makeup of the current coalition government, which contains two extremist parties, and the influence of Radio Maryja, a right-wing Catholic radio station which regularly broadcasts anti-Semitic diatribes.
Among the report's recommendations are for the removal of the current Education Minister, Roman Giertych, whose political party is steeped in anti-Semitism and the implementation of laws dealing with racism and anti-Semitism against Radio Maryja for its anti-Jewish hate speech.
"Since the formation of the coalition government in May 2006, we have spoken out vocally and forcefully against the persistence of anti-Semitism and intolerance in Poland," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Throughout," he added, "we have made the point that a large proportion of the Polish people are disturbed and outraged by these political views."
Mr. Foxman cited President Lech Kaczynski's statement that in Poland there is "no room for anti-Semitism and racism," and said he believed that "this aversion to anti-Semitism is shared by some of Poland's senior political leaders, but sadly, there are many, whether politicians or journalists or broadcasters, who believe otherwise and act accordingly."
Mr. Foxman, who was born in Poland and is a Holocaust survivor, noted that Poland has emerged from its communist past as a pluralistic democracy, "yet politics and the media remain vulnerable to nationalist extremism and the deep roots of anti-Semitism in Poland."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.