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Monday, December 5, 2011
Current Affairs ... Foreign Relations/World Affairs ...

My ethnic heritage is Polish, very Polish. Three of my grandparents were born and raised there, and the fourth lived there after growing up in White Russia (Belarus). So I don’t exactly enjoy Polish jokes.

But I must admit that sometimes my motherland culture deserves their reputation. Especially when the issue involves tolerance for those who are different. I mean, when you are the butt of derogatory jokes, you might try to be a little more sensitive about the evils of looking down on other groups. But Poles are famous for their intolerance, especially with regard to Jews.

I had hoped that Poland had been purified from anti-Sematism through its experiences with the Nazis in the 1930s and 40s (not to mention Communist Russians in the 50s, 60s and 70s). But quite unfortunately, anti-semitism still rears its ugly head in Poland. At a recent soccer match between the national teams of Poland and Israel, the Polish fans raised up a huge “Jihad” sign across half the stadium. With Arabic-like script, just to rub it in. Hard to believe, but here is an article with a picture.

Turns out that the Polish team was fined by the United Euro Football Association based in Switzerland. Only $13,000, just a slap on the wrist. But I’m glad that western Europe took some initiative against this Polish idea of a joke gone bad, very bad.

The two teams will play again in Israel in December. I don’t even want to think what kind of display the Israeli fans might be cooking up. Some Poles — obviously more than just a few — forget that what goes around, comes around!

◊   posted by Jim G @ 9:21 pm      
 
 


  1. Jim, I agree with you: It never ceases to amaze me that often just the people who have been the receivers of the most prejudice are just the ones only too likely to dish it out in massive handfuls to others not like them.

    A strange quirk of human nature. One I just don’t understand either. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — December 6, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  2. The photo and article are very disturbing. These people should know better. A.V. Łącki (Lacki)

    Comment by A.V. Lacki — December 12, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  3. AL, man — how ya doin? You were there once, you can say more about Poland than I can. Thanks for stopping by!

    Comment by Jim G — December 13, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  4. What is not being reported here is that prior to this incident, Jews in Israel were making insulting comments about the Polish team. Why is that not reported?

    {Jim G Response: I’m all in favor of letting both sides be heard, so I will publish your comments; but I will state my reservations about them. I myself don’t know if any Jewish people in Israel made any insulting comments regarding Poland’s soccer team. I cannot say this is correct, but I won’t be surprised if some soccer fans who happen to be Jewish and who happen to live in Israel made some disparaging remarks regarding the abilities of the Polish soccer team. This certainly could have happened, just as much as some Catholic ice skating fans residing in Poland may have had some insulting comments regarding the Uzbekistanian Olympic ice skating team. My point here is to question why a large group of Polish sports fans should get together to hurl a retaliatory insult that offends both Jews and Moslems (most of whom are NOT ‘jihadists’ and might take offense to such sterotyping)? Isn’t this a bit of ‘overkill’ for some insulting comments on the part of individuals?}

    Although what the Poles did was wrong,

    {Yes, we agree on that.}

    they were REACTING to all of the anti-Polish slander coming from Jews.

    {this sounds a bit like children arguing over who started a brawl; he started it, no he did, did not, did so . . . }

    Whether its in Israel or the huge Jewish promotion of hateful “Polish jokes” in America

    {Jewish promotion of Polish jokes? I’ve got a hot flash — a lot of non-Jewish people have told a lot of Polish jokes over the years. Given all the negative vibes that Polish immigrants in the US once encountered from those who “came over on the Mayflower” or would like to have, you’d think that people of Polish heritage would be more sensitive about ending the silly game of ethnic invective, and not continuing it.}

    No surprise since Jews in Hollywood and in the TV networks are the ones who ironically imported Nazi German subhuman intelligence joke about Polish people….into the US in the 1960’s.

    {This is a surprise to me, I’ve never read anything proving or even claiming such an anti-Polish conspiracy by “Jews in Hollywood”; I can’t say that I’ve ever heard a Polish joke on TV or in a movie that stemmed from the Nazis; actually, I don’t remember hearing any Polish jokes whatsoever on TV or movies. Most of the Polish jokes I’ve ever heard were from other kids in my grammar school. None of whom were Jewish.}

    This led to widespread hatred and bigotry in the US against Polish people.

    {I am of third generation Polish ancestry, and I cannot say that I have felt or perceived any widespread hatred and bigotry against Polish people in the USA; there’s always a jerk here or there, but no matter where I’ve been, I’ve mostly been accepted as just another guy, despite my light complexion, bobbed nose, sandy hair and complex last name}

    The famous rabbi Moses Isserles said: “If it were not for Poland, the existence of the tribe of Israel would have been unbearable”

    {and yet, the land of Poland made the existence of the tribe of Israel less bearable than it could have been, for unnecessary reasons; Polish bishops are on record, for example, giving sermons urging their followers not to buy things from Jewish merchants. Despite the fact that Jesus was a Jew who probably sold wooden products.}

    Comment by Harry — January 30, 2012 @ 8:06 am

  5. Wow! Sounds like a lot of emotions. There can be a case for either side, for sure. nobody can say ‘all {P-word}s dislike Jews’ or ‘all Jews dislike {P-word}’. This incident taken in by itself was a show of a really bad decision making. I can just see some small group making a case that to join in on the joke made a person a more patriotic {P-word}. I think that mob mentality took over. PS. I was told that the Polish jokes were originally made by Jews about Polish Jews. Anyhow there was some kind of Jewish aspect in perpetuating this whole joke thing. (Polish people in Poland are mostly unaware of these derogatory jokes oversees)

    Comment by Barbara Deren — November 24, 2013 @ 11:03 am

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