AJC Denounces Polish Lawmaker's Anti-Semitic Pamphlet
February 20, 2007 - New York - The American Jewish Committee is calling on Polish and European officials to denounce an overtly anti-Semitic pamphlet, Civilizations at War in Europe, written by a Polish member of the European Parliament, and distributed last week during a parliament session in Strasbourg.
Professor Maciej Giertych wrote that "Jewish civilization" has no place in Europe. His pamphlet is the latest in a long series of anti-Semitic articles and statements by the Polish MEP, a member of the ultra-conservative League of Polish Families Party.
"Giertych?s views recall the crude anti-Semitism and racially-based hatred that was a feature of the inter-war period in the years leading up to the Holocaust," said Rabbi Andrew Baker, AJC's director of international Jewish affairs. "These prejudicial and ugly racial theories should have no place in Poland today or in the halls of the European Parliament."
AJC praised the five Polish European Parliament members who jointly condemned Giertych. In their statement, Bronislaw Geremek, Jan Kulakowski, Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Pawel Piskorski and Grazyna Staniszewska, all from the PO Party, said "Giertych's publication certainly does not represent the views of Poles nor of the majority of Polish representatives in the European Parliament."
AJC has long been a leader in the fight against global anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia. Through its offices in Berlin, Brussels and Warsaw, and representatives in Paris and Rome, AJC has sought to educate public officials and elected leaders on the need to confront the resurgence of anti-Semitism on the European continent. In recent years AJC also has undertaken special efforts to promote Polish-Jewish dialogue and understanding.
Ari M. Gordon Assistant Director Department of Interreligious Affairs American Jewish Committee 165 E56th St. New York, NY 10022 (212) 891-6768 (212) 751-4000 x266 www.ajc.org www.engagingamerica.org