World Jewish News
Anti-Semitism on the rise in Poland, study shows
Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Poland, a study by the Poland University of Warsaw’s Center for Research on Prejudice, shows while the European Jewish Congress is expressed concern over the deteriorating relationship between the Polish Government and the Jewish community.
According to the study, acceptance for anti-Semitic hate speech — especially among young Poles on the internet — rose from 2014 to 2016 compared to previous years.
The rise is attributed to a spike in Islamophobia and anti-migrant sentiment triggered by Europe’s migrant crisis.. Many of the migrants were from conflict-ridden countries like Syria and Libya.
In ist conclusions, the study said that “fear of Muslims that arose between 2014 and 2016 has increased negative feelings towards Jews among people regardless of their age or political affiliation.”
The study found that 37% of those surveyed voiced negative attitudes towards Jews in 2016 compared to 32% the previous year.
56% said they would not accept a Jewish person in their family, an increase of nearly 10 points compared to 2014.
32% said they did not want Jewish neighbors, compared to 27% in 2014.
Around 10,000 Jews live in Poland.
The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has expressed its grave concerns about the fact that the Polish government closed its communications with the official representatives of the Jewish community which, it said in a statement, ‘’ coincides with a dramatic rise in recent anti-Semitic incidents in Poland.’’
“Across Europe, governments consult with the local official leaders of the community to seek their counsel and coordinate a response to antisemitism. However, Poland stands out as an example of a leadership which appears to have little interest in opening a dialogue with the Jewish community,” said EJC President Moshe Kantor.
The EJC mentioned that no senior Polish government minister has met with the leadership of the Union of Jewish Communities. The Union is a member of the European Jewish Congress.
Some of the recent rise in anti-Semitism that appears to have permeated many layers of Polish society include, during a public debate when Polish Television journalist Magdalena Ogórek pointed out the Jewish roots of the ancestors of Senator Marek Borowski, fascist slogans and flags of ONR Falanga regularly displayed at state ceremonies, and member of parliament Bogdan Rzońca from Prawo i Sprawiedliwość writing on social media “I wonder why, despite the Holocaust, there are so many abortionists among Jews.”
“We hope the Polish leadership will restart engagement with the Jewish community and condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms,” Dr. Kantor said. “There has been a distinct normalization of anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia in Poland recently and we hope that the Polish government will stem this hate and act forcefully against it.”
“Minority rights, respect for the rule of law and commitment to fighting antisemitism and racism lie at the heart of the values of post-War reconstruction of Europe and learning the lessons of the Shoah,” he added.