ADL Calls on Polish Leader to Directly Condemn Priest's Anti-Semitic Remarks
New York, NY, July 11, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the Polish Prime Minister to directly and publicly condemn the most recent anti-Semitic remarks of Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, a priest who heads Radio Maryja, a right-wing Catholic station that routinely broadcasts hateful remarks about Jews.
In his most recent diatribe against Jews, Father Rydzyk reportedly accused Jews of greed in a potential government compensation deal on confiscated property, and denounced Poland’s President, Lech Kaczynski, as a “fraudster who is in the pockets of the Jewish lobby.”
“This is far from the first time Father Rydzyk or other broadcasters on Radio Maryja have made incendiary and hateful remarks about Jews,” said Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “Anti-Semitic content broadcast on Radio Maryja continues to include ugly stereotyping, conspiracy theories, claims that Jews were responsible for communist-era repression and accusations that Jews are using the Holocaust to leverage compensation payments from Poland.”
Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski and his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, are political allies of Father Rydzyk and both have appeared on the radio station. On July 8, Radio Maryja held a large mass celebrating its 15th anniversary that was attended by the Polish prime minister and deputy prime ministers.
In a letter to Prime Minister Kaczynski, ADL urged his government to speak out against Father Rydzyk’s remarks and cited a recent poll of anti-Semitic attitudes in Poland, which found that 45 percent of Polish respondents answered “probably true” to at least three of four anti-Semitic stereotypes, and 39 percent said they consider Jews responsible for the death of Christ.
Mr. Lewy and Mr. Foxman said, “The attitudes revealed in our polling, reinforced by the extremism of Radio Maryja and the comments of Father Rydzyk, demonstrate the need for Poland’s political leadership to speak clearly and directly to condemn all manifestations of anti-Semitism.”
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.