Saturday, 24 Feb 2018 - 9 of Adar, 5778

European Jewish Association challenges Polish ‘Holocaust Bill’ in Constitutional Court as President Duda says he will sign it into law

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BRUSSELS—The European Jewish Association (EJA) will begin legal proceedings in Poland’s Constitutional Court to challenge the contested ”Holocaust Bill” following  Polish President Andrzej Duda’s decision to sign it, its Director General, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, annnounced Tuesday.

The Polish legislation voted by the Senate would criminalize accusations of Polish complicity in the Holocaust. The Polish president said that he will sign the bill into law, saying in a televised address that the legislation would ensure Poland’s ”dignity and historical truth.”

In a statement Rabbi Margolin said, “It is with deep regret that the President of Poland, clearly ignoring the concerns of European Jewry and the international community, has decided to sign this deeply flawed bill. We had urged President Duda to defer any final decision on ratifying the legislation until at least having met with a delegation of Jewish leaders. He has decided, bizarrely, that this is not necessary.”

“As a consequence, the EJA will – as we successfully did in the past on efforts to ban kosher slaughter – challenge this matter in Poland’s Constitutional court,” the Jewish leader added.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin had previously challenged and overturned Polish legislation affecting kosher slaughter at Poland’s Constitutional Court in Warsaw.

Rabbi Margolin had previously challenged and overturned Polish legislation affecting schechita or  kosher slaughter of animals at the Court.

Calls on EU institutions to reprimand the Polish government 

Rabbi Margolin also wrote to the heads of all EU Institutions asking them ”to reprimand the Polish government.” ”It seems inconceivable that an EU Member State can be permitted to whitewash history by imposing draconian legislation that can imprison people for holding an alternative view on what happened during Europe’s darkest days,” he said.  

 “The bill, as presently worded, represents the worst kind of historical revisionism, is an assault and an insult to the memory of those murdered during the Holocaust and is a direct attack on free speech and freedom of opinion. This cannot stand”, concluded Margolin. 

 

 

 

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