Sunday, 25 Feb 2018 - 10 of Adar, 5778

Jewish leaders in Poland express concern about ‘rising anti-Semitism’ in the country

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WARSAW—Jewish leaders in Poland have called on Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the country’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS), to denounce and condemn rising anti-Semitism.

“There has been a rise of anti-Semitic attitudes in recent months, accompanied by aggressive hate speech and violent behavior that are directed towards our community,’’ wrote Leslaw Piszewski, head of the Jewish community in Poland, and Anna Chipczynska, head of the Warsaw Jewish community, in a letter they addressed to Kaczynski.

 “We are appalled by recent events and fearful for our security as the situation in our country is becoming more dangerous,” they added.

The letter mentioned a number of specific threats to Jews in Poland, including an attack during a football match featuring Israeli football team Hapoel Petah Tikva. Members of the Israeli team were attacked following the match in Suchochin near Warsaw, in what the Israeli embassy said was an "anti-Semitic incident." A Polish government spokesperson condemned the attack and said police were investigating.

The Jewish leaders said that the current climate is reminiscent of 1968, when the former Communist powert waged an anti-Semitic campaign that culminated in the expulsion of thousands of Jews.

“We are afraid for our security and our future in Poland. We do not want a return to the year 1968.”

 Anna Chipczynska told The Associated Press news agency that the letter had still not been responded to, despite being sent last week.

Poland's Jewish community was the largest in Europe before the Holocaust, with some 3.3 million people.

Today there are around 10,000 Jews in the country.


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