Thursday, 16 November 2017

60,000 strong fascist march in Warsaw for a White Europe on Poland’s independence day

 “Pray for Islamic Holocaust” reads the banner and the crowd chants remove Jewry from power”   

Warsaw Demonstration
 It was one of the largest fascist rallies in Europe in the post-war period.  But to Interior Minister, Mariusz Błaszczak “It was a beautiful sight,”   Poland’s far-Right Law and Justice government is led by Prime Minister Beatta Beata Szydło.  

The Law and Justice Party is an anti-Semitic party, one of whose missions is to write out of history Polish collaboration with the Nazis in the murder of Jews.  This has not stopped Netanyahu welcoming Beata Szydło to Israel and returning the honour.

Poland, along with Hungary and the other East European countries are the most hostile to refugees in Europe.  Their racist hostility to Muslims and refugees is shared by most Israelis and Netanyahu which is one reason for the symbiosis between Israel and Poland.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo
Of course the anti-Semitism of the Polish government is no obstacle to its friendliness to Israel.  As the Times of Israel reported Is new Polish law an attempt to whitewash its citizens’ roles in the Holocaust?  the Education Minister Anna Zalewska insinuated that the Jedwabne massacre of 1941, when Poles burned alive more than 300 Jews in a barn, was a matter of “opinion.”  This was in an interview in July on the Polish public broadcaster TVN. 

Polish Newsweek, a Polish public opinion survey reported, following Zalewska’s statements that 33% of the population agreed with the minister that the Polish massacre of Jews at Jedwabne is an opinion, 29% were undecided and only 38% agreed with the statement that “Poles burned Jews in a barn in Jedwabne.” The highest percentage of disbelief was found among youth.

Polish nationalists light flares as they march through Warsaw to mark Poland’s independence. Photograph: Bartłomiej Zborowski/EPA
In fact the number of 300 Jews who were burnt alive is a conservative estimate.  Anna Bikont, in The Crime and  the Silence - A Quest for the Truth of a Wartime Massacre estimated that up to 1,600 hundred Jews were herded into a barn which was then set alive by those villagers in Jedwabne who were supporters of the Nationalist Party. Polish-Jewish historian Jan Tomasz Gross, in his book Neighbours: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne concurred. 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosts Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło
I have already written previously about how former Law and Justice MEP Michal Kaminski, who led the Committee to Preserve the Good Name of Jedwabne, was also a vehement Zionist and was defended by Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard who described him as the ‘best friend’ that the Jews could want in the Guardian. [David Miliband's insult to Michal Kaminski is contemptible’]   In 2009 Kaminski was a guest speaker at the World Summit on Counter Terrorism:Terrorism's Global Impact - ICT's 9th International Conference at Herzliya in Israel.  And of course he paid the obligatory visit to Yad Vashem, Israel's holocaust propaganda museum.
Polish film ‘Aftermath’ explores the massacre at Jedwabne. (courtesy)
Tommy Robinson at Polish fascist march
The newly elected President of the Polish state’s Institute of National Remembrance Jaroslaw Szarek, recently told a parliamentary committee that “the perpetrators of this crime were the Germans, who used in their own machine of terror a group of Poles.”

Also present last Saturday was the founder of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson.  Robinson, like so many fascists these days, combines anti-Semitism with strong support for Zionism and Israel.  He is one of an increasing band of White Zionists.  Robinson’s affections for Zionism are reciprocated.

To many Zionists Tommy Robinson's views are attractive because of his Islamaphobia
Far Right Zionist solicitor Robert Festenstein is interview for a video with Tommy Robinson
The Jewish Chronicle reported that

‘A lawyer for the Jewish Human Rights Watch organisation has appeared alongside former EDL leader Tommy Robinson in a politically motivated video made for a right-wing media website.
Robinson meets an MP from the ruling party

Robert Festenstein is filmed by the Rebel Media Youtube site being introduced to Robinson, as he visits a Sunderland based shop owner who had been contacted by police and asked to remove a sign he had placed outside his shop relating to the funding of terrorism.
Jayda Fransen of Britain First speaks at rally in Wroclaw

Festenstein of Jewish Human Rights Watch is a far-right Zionist.  He attempted, together with fake charity Campaign Against Anti-Semitism to stop Palestine Expo 2017 in the Queen Elizabeth Centre II last July by making false allegations of anti-Semitism.

Other visitors from the British Far-Right were Jayda Fransen the Deputy Fuhrer of Britain First and a contingent from BF. They headed for Wroclaw, Poland’s third largest city which was the scene of the burning of an effigy of a Hasidic Jew about a year go.

The naked anti-Semitism of Britain First doesn’t stop former Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation, Jonathan Hoffman and other Zionist activists, including Simon Cobbs of Sussex Friends of Israel keeping company with BF’s ‘Intelligence Chief’ (I use the term Intelligence lightly) Paul Besser.  [EXCLUSIVE – Lifting the lid on Collaboration between the Far Right and Zionist Activists]

Although in Western Europe the overwhelming bulk of racism is directed towards Muslims and Roma, this is not true in Eastern Europe where anti-Semitic attitudes are common.
A counter-demonstration was much smaller. CreditMarcin Obara/European Pressphoto Agency
Even in Spain, where half the people have unfavourable attitudes to Muslims or Roma, 21% have negative attitudes to Jews.  In The Netherlands just 4% of people have negative attitudes towards Jews compared to over one-third to Muslims and Roma.

But in Eastern Europe although negative attitudes to Roma and Muslims afflict over half the population, there is still significant hostility towards Jews. 
Netanyahu and Hungary's Viktor Orban
In Poland 47% are hostile to Roma and 67% towards Muslims compared to 24% with Jews.  Given there are a maximum of 10,000 Jews in Poland this is an anti-Semitism without Jews.
In Hungary which has the largest Jewish community in Eastern and Central Europe (about 80,000) although  hostility towards Roma and Muslims are higher (64% and 72%) negative opinions of Jews are a third (32%). 

In Italy, which is surprising given the role of Italians in saving Jews during the war, 24% have hostile attitudes to Jews although this is dwarfed by a figure of 69% and 82% towards Muslims and Roma respectively.

It is clear that although anti-Semitism has virtually died in Western Europe it still plays a key ideological role in the fascist arsenal in Eastern Europe.  There is no doubt that the reason for this is the economical condition of Eastern Europe with high unemployment and poverty.  Anti-Semitism plays a different role from for example anti-Muslim racism and functions primarily on the ideological level.  The Jewish conspiracy  theory, of Jews owning the banks and controlling credit and therefore being responsible for the economic plight of these countries seems to play a large part.  It is to a great extent an anti-Semitism without any Jews.

What is also clear though is that the far-Right racist regimes of Eastern Europe combine anti-Semitism with a slavish support for Israel.  Israel in turn is more than happy to ignore the anti-Semitism of these regimes.  Why not?  Zionism has always thrived on anti-Semitism.

Tony Greenstein

White Europe’: 60,000 nationalists march on Poland’s independence day

Xenophobic phrases and far-right symbols mark event described by anti-fascists as a magnet for worldwide far-right groups

Tens of thousands of nationalist demonstrators marched through Warsaw at the weekend to mark Poland’s independence day, throwing red-smoke bombs and carrying banners with slogans such as “white Europe of brotherly nations”.

Police estimated 60,000 people took part in Saturday’s event, in what experts say was one of the biggest gathering of far-right activists in Europe in recent years.

Demonstrators with faces covered chanted “Pure Poland, white Poland!” and “Refugees get out!”. A banner hung over a bridge that read: “Pray for Islamic Holocaust.”

The march organised by far-right groups in Poland is an annual event originally to mark Poland’s independence in 1918. But according to Nick Lowles, from UK anti-extremism group Hope Not Hate, it has become an important rallying point for international far-right groups.

“The numbers attending this year seem to be bigger and, while not everyone on the march is a far-right activist or fascist, it is undoubtedly becoming more significant and is acting as a magnet for far-right groups around the world.”

Far-right marchers brandish banners depicting a red falanga, a far-right symbol dating from the 1930s. Photograph: Janek Skarżyński/AFP/Getty Images
Some participants marched under the slogan “We Want God!”, words from an old Polish religious song that the US president, Donald Trump, quoted during a visit to Warsaw earlier this year. Speakers encouraged attendants to stand against liberals and defending Christian values.

Many carried the national white-and-red flag while others held banners depicting a falanga, a far-right symbol dating to the 1930s. A demonstrator interviewed by state television TVP said he was on the march to “remove Jewry from power”.

Among the far-right leaders attending the march was the former English Defence League leader Stephen Lennon, better known as Tommy Robinson, and Roberto Fiore from Italy. It also attracted a considerable number of supporters of Poland’s governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.
TVP, which reflects the conservative government’s line, called it a “great march of patriots”, and in its broadcasts described the event as one that drew mostly ordinary Poles expressing their love of Poland, not extremists.

“It was a beautiful sight,” the interior minister, Mariusz Błaszczak, said. “We are proud that so many Poles have decided to take part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday.”

The march was one of many events marking Poland’s independence in 1918, when the country regained its sovereignty at the end of the first world war after being partitioned and ruled since the late 18th century by Russia, Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian empire.

A smaller counter-protest by an anti-fascist movement took place on Saturday where, although organisers tried to keep the two groups apart, nationalists pushed and kicked several women who had a banner saying “Stop fascism” and chanted anti-fascist slogans.

“I’m shocked that they’re allowed to demonstrate on this day. It’s 50 to 100,000 mostly football hooligans hijacking patriotism,” said a 50-year-old Briton, Andy Eddles, a language teacher who has been living in Poland for 27 years. “For me it’s important to support the anti-fascist coalition and to support fellow democrats, who are under pressure in Poland today.”

Earlier in the day, the president, Andrzej Duda, presided over state ceremonies also attended by the European council president, Donald Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland.

Tusk’s appearance comes at a time when Warsaw has been increasingly at odds with Brussels because of the PiS government’s controversial interference in the courts, large-scale logging in a primeval forest and a refusal to accept migrants. Relations between PiS and Tusk have been so tense that Poland was the only country to vote against his re-election as council president in March.

Nationalist March Dominates Poland’s Independence Day

Thousands of far-right nationalists marched through Poland’s capital, Warsaw, on Saturday, waving red-and-white Polish flags and carrying flares.

The crowd at the march, which coincided with Poland’s Independence Day, commemorating the reinstatement of sovereignty at the end of World War I, far outnumbered those at official government events earlier in the day.
Some of the marchers carried the flags of far-right groups like the National Radical Camp. CreditAdam Stepien/Agencja Gazeta, via Reuters
Many participants held up Christian iconography.

But others held banners of white supremacy, including one that read “White Europe of brotherly nations,” according to The Associated Press. Still others carried signs equating Islam with terrorism, waved signs denouncing same-sex marriage, and carried banners of the National Radical Camp, an anti-Semitic group founded before World War II on extreme nationalist values.

The annual march has become something of a magnet for white supremacists and far-right groups from across Europe since it began in 2009.

As Poland has moved further to the right, the rally has grown. The right-wing Law and Justice Party, which was voted into power in 2015, has moved the nation from liberal European cooperation to an inward-facing agenda.

The slogan for Saturday’s march, “We want God,” comes from an old Polish nationalist song. President Trump quoted the phrase during his visit this year.

The crowd at a counterdemonstration, with the slogan “For our freedom and yours,” was greatly outnumbered. Some participants held umbrellas that spelled out “Stop Facism” and others carried a banner that read “Rainbow is the new black.”

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