“It is so sad that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz a Polish cleric still engages in anti-Semitic rhetoric because so much Jewish blood was shed on Polish soil," said Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League in the United States, reacting to Bishop Pieronek’s comments that the Holocaust had become a “propaganda weapon”.
Fozman was quoted in Haaretz after top Bishop Tadeusz Pieronik told an Italian catholic web site on Sunday that he found the appropriation of the tragedy of the Holocaust by Jewish groups “arrogant”, as they were the only ones who suffered during the during WW II “unbearable.”
Christians and others who suffered under the iron boot of communism should have a day such as Holocaust Remembrance Day, too, says the bishop. "But they, the Jews, enjoy good press because they have powerful financial means behind them, enormous power and the unconditional backing of the United States and this favours a certain arrogance that I find unbearable."
Pieronek, asked if the Holocaust had been exploited, said: "Certainly it has. It is used as a propaganda weapon to get advantages that are often unjustified."
Eeek! What was Pieronek on?
His comments come just before January 27’s Holocaust memorial day, when national leaders gather in Auschwitz in southern Poland. This year’s guests include Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Has 75 year old Pieronek taken leave of his senses?
Everyone I have talked to are surprised by Pieronek’s outburst. Pieronek is not a Rydzyk or a Jankowski - he is mainstream very senior, retired now, Polish Roman Catholic bishop, was on the executive bishop’s council, etc. He represents the status quo in Poland among the clergy.
Bishop Pieronek has hardly helped himself. His plea today on TVP television that his comments have been “taken out of context” and the even weaker “I did not authorise the article” - is he used to journos ringing him up to check quotes? (* see note below)- are lame. He denies saying that the Holocuast “was a Jewish invention,” but nowhere does he retract what many see as a tired old anti-Semitism.
"I am totally shocked by these comments, particularly if they came from a member of the Church hierarchy," said Leone Passerman, ex-president of Rome's Jewish community.
Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League in the United States, said: "It is so sad that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz a Polish cleric still engages in anti-Semitic rhetoric because so much Jewish blood was shed on Polish soil."
“We find it unacceptable that an important religious figure in Poland, only a few days away from International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is capable of making such inflammatory and false remarks” stated European Jewish Council President Dr. Moshe Kantor, quoted in ynet.
Personally, I think the Italian journalist who wrote the original story was taking a liberty with the “Holocaust was a Jewish invention” bit. He says before that: “In a sense,” so he was not literally saying it was an invention. But the general sentiments he spoke of are not unusual here in Poland. Not at all. what's changed is that recently you can get away with saying these type of things - especially after the Gaza debacle.
*I was informed today that there is a “Press Law” which originated in 1984 but which has been amended several times since, which says that the journalist, if requested, must authorise quotes with the interviewee. I found that strange. Is it?
Monday, January 25, 2010
Posted by beatroot at 1/25/2010