Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Monday, 2 January 2012

No Reprinted Jewish Vermin For Warsaw's 2012 Calendar

In including an antisemitic advertisement for the weekly Rozwoj dating to 1925 as one of the images of Warsaw's 20th century cultural heritage, the city's municipal leaders appear to have trodden a fine line between showcasing history for history's sake and exploiting shocking propaganda for its publicity value.

The poster depicts a Polish soldier disposing with a powerful blowtorch of rats wearing (according to a description, though I must need Specsavers urgently for I fail to see them) yamulkes decorated with the Magen David. The captain, in translation, partly reads: : "Rozwój is fighting for the welfare of Poland, promoting national solidarity ... defending Poland against the Jewish influx..."

Unsurprisingly, given the furore unleashed by a page in a calendar promotiong Warsaw that shows Jews as vermin, and the knowledge of where such depictions led, the calendar has sold out.

A case can certainly be made for the inclusion of such an image, in a collection that purports to display the theme specified.

"The poster is antisemitic but the idea behind the project was to show the emotions of old Warsaw," said a municipal spokesman. "Let's not pretend we have nothing to be ashamed of - in those days, antisemitism was quite strong."

But an equal and perhaps  far better case can be made for not including so terrible, and perhaps even inflammatory, an image on a commercial calendar.  It could be interpreted as, however unwittingly, a recruiting sergeant for neo-Nazi thugs of extreme right. Better, it seems, to leave the image in the Museum that houses the original.

At first, the civic authorities reacted with phlegmatism, and even bravado, when challenged over their inclusion of the image, and vowed to go to a second print run.

But now they have reconsidered, and overturned their vow to print more.  Theirs was arguably a lapse of good judgment, and it is probably right they have done so.  Such an image is surely best omitted from material that purports to promote a city.

Read more here and here and here


  1. Jewish anti-Christian sentiments are displayed in the streets of American and Israeli cities, in the press and TV programs every day. Culturally insensitive programs are shown as we speak in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv.
    What's the big deal. This poster shows just one aspect of Polish life in the II Republic.
    Anti-semitism was widespread (nothing unusual at that time) everywhere, and it had its reasons. This is history. Do you ever apologize for your comments about Poland, Polish people or catholicism? Do you accept criticism about Israeli soldiers' actions in Gaza and West Bank>

    1. I have never made disparaging comments about Polish people or Catholicism.
      There is one aspect of American movies/TV I deplore, and that's overuse of the J word in swearing - I appreciate that it is antagonistic to many people, and utterly offensive.

  2. Anonymous smackdown!