Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Is anti-Semitism inherent in the Polish character?

Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek

Reading an article in the Jerusalem Post on comments by Polish Catholic bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, a close friend of Pope John Paul II, I was reminded of former Prime Minister of Israel Itzhak Shamir who said in 1989 that “Poles suck in anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk.”

The article in question reports on statements made by the bishop to the effect that Jews use the Holocaust as propaganda:

The Holocaust only receives media coverage because of affluent Jews’ financial backing, military might and lobbying fronts, presenting a skewed version of events to the world, a high-ranking Polish bishop told a Catholic news portal on Monday.

Polish bishop and professor Tadeusz Pieronek told the Web site Pontifex.roma that while the Holocaust was not exclusively Jewish, Jews had monopolized it in lieu of encouraging “serious historical debate, free from prejudice and victimization.”

Pieronek alleged that Jews today use the Holocaust as “a weapon of propaganda, used to obtain benefits which are often unjustified,” citing as an example the unconditional support for Israel by the US. “This promotes a certain arrogance that I find unbearable,” he said, explaining that Israel was using its position of power and exploiting historical tragedies to treat the Palestinians “like animals.”

The bishop stated that American support for the Jews had not always been so readily given. “What did the Jewish-American and allied forces do in [World War II] to avoid these tragedies? Little or nothing,” he said.

Pieronek stressed that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians did not compare to “the shame of the concentration camps and the aberrations of Nazism,” but was still a cause for concern ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which occurs on January 27.

“The Holocaust as such is a Jewish invention … a day of remembrance must also be set for the many victims of Communism, persecuted Catholics and Christians and so on,” he told the Web site. Tragedy, he stressed, must not be turned into propaganda.
Every time that I begin to question my perception of Poland as a bastion of anti-Semitism, some Polih political or religious leader manages to make a statement that again removes any doubt that Shamir was not exaggerating about the contenet of Polish maternal milk.

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