In Poland, Hope on Jewish Relations
Letter to the Editor
The New York Times
July 14, 2007
To the Editor:
The complexity of contemporary Poland was underscored by the two
news articles on Poles and Jews published side by side ("In Poland,
a Jewish Revival Thrives — Minus Jews" and "Call to Punish Polish
Priest for Anti-Semitic Remarks," July 12).
Anti-Semitism has not disappeared from Polish soil any more than it
has vanished from other countries in Europe. The anti-Semitic
broadcasts on Radio Maryja, which enjoys a large national audience,
not to mention the recent assault on the Polish chief rabbi, are
sobering reminders of the danger of what has been called the world's
oldest social pathology.
Yet Poland, since courageously overthrowing Communism in 1989, has
made tremendous strides in building strong links with Israel,
enhancing ties with world Jewry, and creating a welcoming climate
for Jewish renewal. These laudable efforts have been supported by
successive governments and bolstered by dedicated civic institutions
like the Forum for Dialogue Among Nations.
The American Jewish Committee, which has been active in Polish-
Jewish relations for decades, can attest to the dramatic change
under way. Significant gains have been achieved against the backdrop
of an anguished and multilayered history. Indeed, the increasingly
vibrant Polish-Jewish relationship should be seen as a metaphor for
the triumph of hope over despair.
David A. Harris
American Jewish Committee
New York, July 12, 2007