Israel envoy boycotts Polish education minister

Ambassador slams appointment of "anti-Semitic" far-right party leader Roman Giertych.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
July 8, 2006 23:51
2 minute read.
krakow 88

krakow 88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Israel's ambassador to Poland on Friday decried as "incomprehensible" the appointment of a Polish ultra-nationalist who heads a far-right party with anti-Semitic ideology as Poland's education minister. "It is incomprehensible that issues likes Israeli-Polish youth exchanges and Holocaust issues will be directed by the head of an anti-Semitic party," Ambassador David Peleg said in an address at Krakow's Jewish culture festival. His comments were the harshest public remarks to date by an Israeli official against the appointment of Polish Education Minister Roman Giertych. Peleg, who is boycotting the new Polish education minister, said that he expected the jurisdiction over Jewish-Polish youth exchanges and Holocaust education would be transferred to an alternate Polish government ministry, as promised by the Polish government. "We definitely hope that the assurances will be followed by deeds," Peleg said. He noted that the Polish government had assured him that the inclusion of the minister's fringe party in the coalition was based on purely political needs, and did not represent any shift in the policies of the government. Peleg added that Israel expected the issue to be resolved by September, when Polish President Lech Kaczynski is expected to visit Israel on his first official visit since being elected last year. Israeli and Jewish officials have been concerned over the appointment of Giertych, the 35-year-old extremist party leader whose party won only 8 percent of the vote in last year's Polish election, to such a prestigious government position. Giertych's grandfather was a staunch advocate of anti-Jewish boycotts, with his party rooted in a nationalist movement which, between the two world wars, succeeded in both segregating and limiting the number of Jews at Polish universities. The party's youth wing has in the past made Nazi salutes and chanted Nazi slogans. The concern is compounded by the fact that the Polish Education Ministry has until now been charged with joint youth programs between Israelis and Poles, interactions which are considered to be a cornerstone of future relations between the two countries. The discord over the move follows a decade of burgeoning Israeli-Polish relations, with governmental relations between the two countries now considered to be among the best in Europe. "The relationship between Israel and Poland has reached a point where we can talk to each other - on a government-to-government level and on a person-to-person level - in a very frank way about all painful issues to both people relating to the Second World War," Peleg said in his address, held in Krakow's Kupa Synagogue. Earlier this week, the Polish Ambassador to Israel Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska told The Jerusalem Post that a new government department, which will oversee the broadening of youth exchanges between Israel and Poland, will circumvent Giertych's jurisdiction.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN