Poland apologizes to rabbi after attack

President Lech Kaczynski invites chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich to his palace.

May 29, 2006 21:23
1 minute read.
Poland apologizes to rabbi after attack

poland chief rabbi 29888. (photo credit: Channel 2)


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Poland's president expressed solidarity Monday with the country's chief rabbi, who was attacked over the weekend, assuring the Jewish leader he would do everything in his power to oppose anti-Semitism. President Lech Kaczynski invited Rabbi Michael Schudrich to his palace, where he expressed regret over the attack and said Poland will not tolerate anti-Semitism, said the presidential undersecretary of state, Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka. "The purpose was to say 'I'm sorry for what happened,"' Junczyk-Ziomecka, who was present during the nearly one-hour meeting, told The Associated Press. She said Kaczynski also told Schudrich that "Poland is an open society, a democratic society. It is open for everyone who wants to be here." Schudrich was punched in the chest and doused with what appeared to be pepper spray on a Warsaw street Saturday by a young man who yelled "Poland for Poles" - an old anti-Semitic slogan implying Jews are unwelcome in Poland. Schudrich, who was not injured, said he was "very moved" by Kaczynski's invitation and words of solidarity. "It was a very clear reaction and very important in showing that there is no place in Poland for anti-Semitism," Schudrich said. The attack on Schudrich came four weeks after a small right-wing party, the League of Polish Families, entered a governing coalition led by Law and Justice, a conservative party that Kaczynski helped found. Jewish leaders have expressed concern over the deal with the League, which has a radical youth wing whose members have been known to use Nazi slogans. They say its presence in the government nurtures an intolerance that increases the chance of anti-Semitic attacks.

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