March 14, 2019 / 4:31 PM / 6 days ago

Polish parliament kiosk sells paper advising: 'How to recognize a Jew'

WARSAW (Reuters) - A news kiosk inside Poland’s parliament was found to be selling a newspaper with an article instructing readers on “How to recognize a Jew”, drawing accusations that lawmakers were happy to tolerate anti-Semitism.

The article in “Tylko Polska” (“Only Poland”), a low-circulation, nationally distributed right-wing weekly, describes how to recognize Jews based on their last names, personality traits and facial features.

Jewish women, it says, “lack the delicacy, modesty and sense of shame that are innate to Polish women.”

It goes on: “Because the whole world belongs to them ... they are supposed to exist in every country, take power over nations and lead to the creation of one worldwide Jewish state.”

Pictures of the paper on sale at a newspaper kiosk in parliament, in a country where more than 3 million of a population of 3.2 million Jews were murdered by in the Holocaust, were widely shared on social media.

Parliament said it would request the publication be withdrawn from sale, but a Jewish groups demanded stronger action.

“The lack of clear condemnation of the incident on the part of key Polish politicians, such as the speaker of the Sejm (parliament), is disturbing,” said Agnieszka Markiewicz, director of the American Jewish Committee for Central Europe.

Some politicians did react.

“It’s an absolute scandal that, in the Polish parliament, such pitiful papers that look as if they are taken from Nazi publications, are sold,” said Michal Kaminski, a member of parliament for the leftwing opposition Polish Peasants Party.

Krzysztof Brejza, a member for the center-right opposition Civic Platform, said the publication was a symptom of intolerance promoted by the ruling conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) led by former prime minister Jarosław Kaczyński.

“The promotion of hatred in society serves Jarosław Kaczyński. It is disgusting that in the temple of democracy, in the Polish parliament, such materials are displayed,” Brejza said.

A spokesperson for PiS was not immediately available to comment.

The Polish government has bristled at suggestions of anti-Semitism in the past.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki canceled a trip to Jerusalem last month after Israel’s foreign minister said many Poles “suckle anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk” and had collaborated with Nazis in the Holocaust.

Israel also opposed a law passed last year which made it a criminal offense to use phrases such as “Polish death camps” to refer to the Nazi-run concentration camps on Polish soil, including Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor, where millions of Jews were killed.

Reporting by Joanna Plucinska, Alicja Ptak, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Pawel Florkiewicz, Editing by Justyna Pawlak and Robin Pomeroy

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