Demonstrators burn flares and wave Polish flags during the annual march to commemorate Poland's National Independence Day in Warsaw.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI)
Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism Anna Krupka was presenting her party’s views when Konrad Berkowicz [Korwin] approached her from behind and placed a Jewish skullcap above her head as she was speaking, Amichai Stein from KAN reported.
Krupka is a member of the current ruling Law and Justice Party [PiS]. The incident was aired on a local television channel in Kielce.
“They [PiS] bow down to Jews,” Berkowicz reportedly said. “They will sell this country for money.”
Writing on his Facebook page, Berkowitz said he only placed the kippa on Krupka’s head when she was “foaming at the mouth and talking about kneeling in front of [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin.”
He claimed he only placed it in the air to “remind the public who is kneeling in front of whom.”
His post included pictures of Polish PiS members wearing kippot during meetings with Jewish activists and leaders.
Claiming that the confederacy of right-wing parties faces a powerful mechanism that “ignores rational arguments,” he said he must resort to such tactics and that the confederacy “cannot limit itself.”
Poland recently witnessed street demonstrations under the banner "This is Polska [Poland] and not Polin [the Hebrew name for the country]" after various Polish media outlets expressed fear that Israel and world Jewish organizations had set out to retrieve Jewish prosperity in Poland.
In part, the protests were sparked by the American Act 447
, the JUST Act, which requires the US government to report on property lost by Jews in Europe due to the Holocaust. Many Poles view the focus on Jewish property lost during the Holocaust - as opposed to Polish property lost in what is modern Ukraine Belarus and Lithuania - as another example of how Jewish suffering is being treated differently than their own.
Berkowicz's party, Korwin, is a member of a coalition of right-wing parties called the confederation. This radical coalition is composed of extreme right-wing parties as well as Korwin party leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke. His party is often seen as the extreme libertarian party in the coalition, sending out a strong message of tearing down the existing social order for a promised better future.
Recent polls in Poland found that 28% of males between the ages of 18-35 claim they intend to vote for that coalition.
Bojan Stanislawski contributed to this article.
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