Polish soccer fans clash with police.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Is Poland doing enough to combat overt displays of anti-Semitism by rabid soccer spectators? A major American Jewish organization doesn’t think so.
The Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday called on the Polish authorities to reverse a decision by prosecutors not to bring forth charges against fans of the Lech Poznan soccer club who were heard making anti-Semitic chants during a September match against Widzew Lodz.
The ADL cited local media reports which claimed fans chanted “Move on, Jews!” and “Your home is at Auschwitz!” among other incendiary remarks.
Polish prosecutors declined to pursue criminal charges after determining that the chants were directed at Lodz players in the heat of a sporting battle, and were not intended to harm Jews in general.
“[Poznan municipal prosecutor Monika Rutkowska’s] twisted reasoning cannot stand,” said ADL chief Abe Foxman. “Anti-Semitic incitement is illegal in Poland, and these chants are clearly anti-Semitic.”
“Responsible government officials must rectify this absurd decision and ensure that those who chose to insult the memory of the victims of the Holocaust are held responsible for their pernicious and illegal actions.”
In a letter to Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, Foxman called on the Polish government to intervene and overturn the municipal prosecutor’s decision.