Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Poles in Israel

Did you know that there are around 100,000 non-Jewish Poles resident in Israel?

That is what the government press briefing before Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s visit to Israel this week said.

In fact, one of Tusk’s ports of call in Israel today was to meet representatives - they even have ‘representatives’, so they must be a ‘community’ - along, of course, with the many hundreds of thousands of Jewish-Poles who have made the ‘holy land’ their home since the Holocaust, communist inspired repressions and the occasional outbreak of general, hostile prejudice in Poland.

But the real task for Tusk has been to improve Poland’s image in Israel and beyond.

I have argued before that no matter the government in Poland, these days, relations with Israel are a priority. Warsaw likes to paint itself as ‘Israel’s friend in Europe’- which is code for saying that ‘yes’, other European countries support those poor oppressed, occupied Palestinians, whereas Warsaw supports Israel, just like the US - but relations with Israel also serve to show the rest of the world that the stereotype of the anti-Semitic Pole is just that - a stereotype. Israel gives Polish diplomacy a purpose and a vehicle for Poland to re-invent itself.

So maybe this is why the rumoured visit by the Polish prime minister to the West Bank as well - and the government was certainly pondering such a visit to the Palestinian Authority as late as week, I understand - was decided against. Palestinians in themselves are not materially useful to Poland. They got no economy at all. But diplomatically it might have sent the right signals to the rest of the Arab world that ‘Warsaw was listening, Warsaw understands’. With Poland being open about its wish for oil deposits in Iraq (the ‘blood for oil’ anti-war slogan actually works in Poland’s case) a little soothing of the Arab brow will never go amiss. But the government must have calculated that a purer message to Jerusalem was a better bet.

Or the chaos of the West Bank and Gaza may have just exhausted the planning.

Prime Minister Olmert said that he would like to visit Poland 'sometime this year’, at the presser after the meeting between the two PMs today.

For Donald Tusk, visiting Israel has been way up the list of countries to be seen in since coming to power late last year. After all, he hasn’t been abroad that much since. But I wonder what there is in Poland - apart from export/import markets - for the Israelis? Apart, that is, from Warsaw’s Washington style support.


Anonymous said...

It is unsurprising that Polish Israeli relations features high on the priority list, they reach right into the heart of our relationship with the American empire. The Israelis can be a very useful tool in working the American card or potentially a huge obstacle.

Palestinians are just not important enough to us or to our relationship with Arab countries, which seem to have a good grasp on the position Poland, finds itself in. The divisions within Palestinian society have greatly harmed their cause and diminished their influence in the world.

On the issue of being at odds with some of our European neighbours, it just doesn’t matter, as it’s a small issue in the big picture.

The policy towards Israel should continue on its current path, as it’s certainly in Poland’s interest to do so. The property restitution issue has a potential to create problems.

beatroot said...

But they have to do something about the restitution issue. Poland is the only country not as yet to do anything, I think. Problem is that Tusk's new law - offering up to 20 percent of current value, has the potential to bust the government. We are talking about billions of zloty.

But as he has said two or three times that is not an issue between Poland and Israel as it is not an inter governmental issue. And only one in four who could claim back property compensation are in fact Jewish.

Unknown said...

Not to detract from the valid conversation regarding restitution, but let's be cautious with the 100K figure of non-Jewish Poles in Israel. Keep in mind that who is and who isn't Jewish in Israel is determined (rather arbitrarly..) by orthodox Rabinate and that designation ends up on every Iraeli's ID card. BTW: Not sure why they need to have that information listed there.. it's like having your ethnic affiliation listed on your driver's license.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Tusk didn’t think this out very well. The government should decide how much it could afford to pay without the destruction of the state budget. Then call for eligible people to submit a claim, at this point you can determine what percentage of the market value can be compensate. To just suggest an arbitrary amount without knowing the extent of the claims is crazy. Also only Polish citizens may apply.

Anonymous said...

To what extent will the Germans chip in to provide restitution? And the Russians?

Anonymous said...

geez said... “will the Germans chip in”

Maybe if hell freezes over, Germany and Russia will help. I don’t think there has been an adequate national debate on this. One tact would be to say the country couldn’t afford this and we must move on in this scenario nobody will receive any restitution for lost property. I have to admit I don’t know what public opinion is on this.

At best restitution will only be symbolic.

There is however uncertainty about the status of property ownership in some areas and this must be addressed.

beakerkin said...

The heat seeker is quite ignorant of ID procedures in that part of the world. In fact religion and ethnicity are listed on every ID in a variety of places.

The monofocus on Israeli practices is part of a mindless obsession on the far left. This practice in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iran, India and the rest of the region draws no similar objection.

Anonymous said...

Israel has a Nazi porn problem?

Strange stuff:

Unknown said...

beakerkin you sure are quick to lable people - that's a sign of ignorance in and of itself my retarded friend. I'm also no leftie when it comes to Israel. So stop barking at the wrong tree. I don't give a flying fuck what they do in godforsaken places like Syria, Jordan or Iran - those countries don't claim (nor could they...)to be democracies. By listing ethnicity on the ID card Israel is giving the left in western Europe unnecessary ammunition. It also creates false picture of the ethnic make up of the country - not everybody agrees with the orthodox definition of Jewishness. BTW: This is all a huge tangent - the topic is the restitution and 'polish' community in Israel.

beatroot said...

This will always be a redeaming feature of has a functioning parliamentary democracy. Rare in middle east. Syria,Iran all have parliamentary elections but are partial dictatorships, none the less.

Problem with Israel is the occupation...which has disenfranchised hudred of thousands of Palestinians. So there is a democratic problem with all countries in the middle east, bar none.

beakerkin said...


You are speaking to someone who works with international ID. The fact that those on the left remain ignorant of international documentation is the norm. The statements about ID remain quite typical of the sort of dementia
that is a prerequisite for those on the far left.

FYI Try picking up Soviet era ID and behold the term Joooooo under
nationality. This is also hardly surprising as Marxist morons consider us a nationality and religion depending upon what is expedient at the moment.

Now onto the gin soked Beatroot who
has stumbles out of the Salon. There are no Palestinians and any claim to ethnicity is a farce.

The first pretext of the Arab Israeli wars is eliminationalist.
This is the exact theme of Hamas today and remains the norm in Muslim culture.

After the Soviets provoked the Six Day War (read Foxbats over Dimona, sadly for Geez it is not a pop up book), Commies switched from Pan Arabism to a long suffering ethnicity. Thus after Pan Arabism was crushed and the commies did not
back their client states they create a new sales pitch.

A long suffering so called indigenous population is more acceptable than Judenfrei real estate among "salon types". Thus a game of bad and switch was knowingly perpetrated by the Left.
Arafat and Prof. Said are Egyptians
with zero claim to anything that resembles an ethnicity.

Here we have the unique prospect of Commies creating a debacle and serving as its champions at the same time. Arabs lost the war rejected generous offers for peace.

What land is occupied? You seem to have a standard for Israel and another for Tibet.

It is also fun to watch Commies literally toss their own under the bus to co-opt Islamic rage. The far left has abandoned Fatah as it seeks to rationalize the Isamonazi
folks at Hammas.

Anonymous said...

beatroot said...

Beelowack. People just don't take you seriously. Don't waste your time here anymore for both our sakes. .

beakerkin said...

What is the matter Beat actual history is above your gin soaked IQ.

The comments about ID are 100% true and any person familiar with the documents in question would tell you so.

Are you denying that there is an eliminationalist theme as the pretext or the wars in the Middle East. Do you think the rhetoric of Hammas is some type of poetic phrase turning.

Just delete as you see fit oh Gin impaired sinpleton.

Anonymous said...

I think the focus of any European anti-semitism should be on the UK, and not Poland. In a recent "Jerusalem Post" article dated March 31, 2008, 'UK is European center of anti-Semitism'(By ETGAR LEFKOVITS), some interesting facts are mentioned:


- Britain has become the epicenter for anti-Semitic trends in Europe as traditional, age-old anti-Semitism in a country whose literature and cultural tradition were "drenched" in anti-Semitism has developed into a contemporary mix of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

- Robert Wistrich, the Cambridge University-educated historian, who has just completed a book on global anti-Semitism, traced the roots of British anti-Semitism to its history, culture and literature going back to medieval times.

- Anti-Semitism in Great Britain is at least a millennial phenomenon and has been around for 1000 years of recorded history.

- The expulsion of all Jews from Britain in 1290 by King Edward I following years of anti-Semitic violence was the first major expulsion of any Jewish community in Europe.

- Jews were banned from Britain until 1656, when Oliver Cromwell, who had overthrown the monarchy, authorized their return.

- A Jewish presence was not required in Britain to produce potent and resonating anti-Semitic stereotypes in classic English literature, including in works by Chaucer, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Dickens, Trollope, T. S. Elliot, and D. H. Lawrence, which continues to impact British society hundreds of years later today.

- English literature and culture is in fact drenched in anti-Semitism.

- During World War II, the British refusal to rescue the Jews of Europe and their decision to close the gates of Palestine stemmed not only from a policy of realpolitik but by anti-Semitic sentiments.

- Winston Churchill's, record on Zionism was "far from brilliant, rhetoric aside" noting that he promoted the infamous White Paper, which severely limited Jews from immigrating to Palestine during World War II.

- The recent controversial contemporary theory of a Jewish lobby controlling American government policies in the wake of the 2003 Iraq War actually had its antecedents a century earlier, and dated back to the infamous anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, while anti-Israel activities on British campuses was going "strong blast" in the 1970s.

- You cannot read a British newspaper without encountering a variant of the libel that Zionism is racism or Zionism is Nazism, describing a culture of "barely disguised hatred" when the subject of Zionism of British Jewry or Anglo-Israel relations is broached, unless they are "the good anti-Zionists.

- The loss of Christian identity in what was the most Bible-believing culture in its day is one of the deeper layers of what has happened in the UK.


Perhaps, the UK needs to improve it's image and reform it's diplomacy and attitude towards Israel?


beatroot said...

Apart from within ..hate to say it, but some muslim 'communities' (and they are not communities at all, but individual groups, but never mind) anti-semitism is very very low in Britain.

Unknown said...

Beatroot said: "[..]anti-semitism is very very low in Britain."

I just got a message from a friend alarmed by the fact that this week, the UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it "offended" the Muslim population which claims it never occurred... This is very disturbing.

Anonymous said...

beatroot said...


I would like to see a report about that, because your friend completely misses the point about what is happening in the UK.

The Holocaust is in fact being pushed and pushed more and more in British schools and society in general. Holocaust Remembrance Day has started there only recently.

The Holocaust, contrary to what your friend tells you, is being presented in schools, not as a unique event but something to 'relate' to kids through other 'genocides' such as 'the one' in Darfur, Balkans etc.

But the germ of truth in what your friend is saying is that different groups are now competing for victim status. So, maybe Muslim 'community leaders' (usual unselected old men who are not representative of anyone) are saying that: "Well, if there is a Holocaust day' then we want a day to remember all the Muslims killed in x, y and z…etc.

So, no Holocaust is not and will not be 'banned' in UK schools. What is happening is that the Holocaust is being used not as a unique historical event, but something to measure other people's and groups perceived oppression – which does, admittedly, devalue the horror of what happened back then.

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