(photo credit: MIKA58 CC BY-SA 4.0 / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Speaking on television this week, Henryk Zielinski, editor-in-chief of the Catholic weekly Idziemy, caused an uproar with his controversial statement suggesting that the truth for Jews is whatever they feel is beneficial for them.
Jews have “a completely different system of values, a different concept of truth,” Zielinski said. “For us, the truth corresponds to facts. For the Jew, truth means something that conforms to his understanding of what’s beneficial. If a Jew is religious, then truth means something God wants.”
Representatives of Polish Jews complained to the state watchdog on media over a public broadcaster’s airing of an interview with a priest who said Jews have a unique understanding of the concept of truth.
He made the comment on Feb. 24 during an interview with TVP, according to the complaint that the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland filed on Monday with Poland’s National Council of Radio and Television.
For non-religious Jews, “the truth is subjective or whatever serves Israel’s interests,” he added. Zielinski cited the Haggadah — a text read by Jews at the Passover Seder, which contains the story of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. “Often these stories have nothing to do with facts,” noted the Catholic priest.
The interviewer, Michał Karnowski, did not contest Zielinski’s assertions, according to the complaint.
Zielinski’s remarks violated the National Council of Radio and Television principles for content on public media, including its ban on ideas that “incite to hatred or discriminate on the grounds of race, disability, gender, religion or nationality,” the Jewish union wrote in its complaint.
The interview with Zielinski comes amid an increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric following a row between Poland and Israel, as well as with international Jewish groups, on a law passed in Poland last month that limits rhetoric on the Holocaust.
The law criminalizes blaming Poland for the Nazis’ crimes. Its opponents said it would complicate research and impede free speech on the genocide, in which thousands of Poles are believed to have betrayed Jews to Nazis. Thousands of Poles also rescued Jews from the Holocaust.