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Archive for Poland

Newsline: Poland demands explanation after diplomat beaten up in Russia

The Polish embassy in Moscow has demanded an explanation after a Polish diplomat was beaten up in Russia. The incident took place when the diplomat was on a plane to Moscow from the far-eastern Russian city of Irkutsk, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported, citing a spokesman for the foreign ministry in Warsaw. The assailant, who appeared to be mentally unstable, was detained after the incident, the spokesman, Artur Lompart, said, according to IAR. The Polish diplomat was provided with immediate assistance, underwent a medical examination and has since returned to Poland, Lompart said.



Newsline: Polish embassy ‘funded far-right speakers’ at UK event

The Polish Embassy in London part-funded an event that gave a platform to right-wing extremists in the UK, a BBC Newsnight investigation has found. The embassy helped to finance a book fair in Slough in 2017, which included speakers from Poland well-known for promoting hate speech in their country. Experts have questioned whether such speakers should be allowed into the UK. The embassy says it funded the event after “appropriate assessment” by Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The embassy confirmed to Newsnight that funding it provided to the Slough Book Fair paid for speakers’ accommodation in Britain. One of the speakers at the Slough event was Marcin Rola, who moderated the discussion and runs a far-right online TV station in Poland, Wrealu24, which has more than 140,000 subscribers on YouTube. In a recent broadcast, Rola told his viewers that Sweden is “top of the league table in terms of rapes by Muslim immigrant-invaders on women. On everyone. On animals, on holes in the fence. Because, well, we all know how they behave”. In the UK, many of Mr Rola’s statements would qualify as hate speech. He has told viewers that “in Islam, paedophilia is their daily bread” and refers to Muslims as “savages”.


Newsline: Ambassador called in after Polish think tank chief refused entry to Russia

The Polish foreign ministry on Tuesday called in Moscow’s ambassador to Warsaw after the head of a Polish think tank was refused entry to Russia. The Polish authorities have demanded an explanation from Russian ambassador Sergei Andreyev, Poland’s PAP news agency reported. Polish foreign ministry spokesman Artur Lompart said Andreyev had “promised that such explanations would be furnished.” Lompart said the head of the government-funded Polish Institute of International Affairs, Sławomir Dębski, was not allowed into Russia on Monday.


Newsline: Polish senator calls for Israeli ambassador’s expulsion

A Polish senator for the ruling party said he would not shake hands with Israel’s ambassador and that he favors her expulsion from Poland for saying anti-Semitism was on the rise there. Jan Zaryn said this during an interview published by the wPolsce news site. “If anyone today thinks to equate in any way the rule of the Law and Justice party to the persecution of Jews led by the communist party apparatus in 1968, or by the marshals, then I certainly will not shake hands with such a person. If this is done by the ambassador of a foreign state, then maybe we have to ask this lady to leave this country,” he is quoted as saying. His comments about Anna Azari come amid a diplomatic crisis between Israel and Poland over anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. The crisis began with the passing of a law in January that criminalizes blaming Poland for Nazi crimes. Several Jewish groups said the law impedes open debate and risks censoring research. Some critics of the law said it whitewashes what they called Polish complicity.


Newsline: Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Denounces Swastikas Graffiti on Polish Embassy

Swastikas and anti-Polish obscenities on the entrance to the Embassy of Poland in Tel Aviv are not to be tolerated in Israel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Monday. Hotovely was responding to a Polish protest to the Foreign Ministry about the anti-Polish graffiti that was found at the embassy on Sunday, hours after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at the Munich Security Conference that just as there were Polish, Ukrainian and Russian perpetrators of the Holocaust – not only German ones – so too there were Jewish perpetrators.


Newsline: Polish embassy in Tel Aviv vandalized with swastikas

Swastikas and anti-Polish slogans were found sprayed on Sunday at the entrance to the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv. Israel Police said an investigation has been launched. The graffiti was sprayed a day after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the Holocaust had Polish perpetrators, just as it had Jewish ones. Moraweicki made the statement at the Munich Security Conference in response to a question by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman regarding the controversial law that criminalizes mentioning the Polish nation’s complicity in the Holocaust. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sharply rebuked the ‘outrageous’ remarks.


Newsline: Holocaust survivors break into Polish embassy in Tel Aviv

Dozens of Holocaust survivors protested outside the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv on Thursday, demonstrating against a new law in Poland that criminalizes suggestions of Polish complicity in the Holocaust. The demonstrators carried signs with slogans such as: “No law can erase history” and “Poles, we remember what you did.” The demonstrators broke into the compound of the embassy singing Am Yisrael Chai, “The people of Israel live.” The protest was organized by the Haifa-based Yad Ezer La-Haver foundation, which runs a home in that city for Holocaust survivors. The protest is expected to grow, as survivors plan to set up a protest tent opposite the embassy and have called on citizens to sign a petition demanding that Poland repeal the law. “We are here to voice our protest, and we promise it won’t be quiet,” said Yad Ezer La-Haver CEO Shimon Sabag. Meanwhile, the International March of the Living announced it would continue holding its annual march in Poland. Earlier this week, Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Yael Antebi called on Education Minister Naftali Bennett to cancel student trips to Poland and move the March of the Living to Jerusalem.