AP NEWS

Hatred of ‘the other’ endangers mankind

March 22, 2019 GMT

The front-page headline: “How To Spot A Jew.”

I listened over the phone as a Polish-speaking friend gave a rough translation of a recent article in the Polish weekly, Tylko Polska (Only Poland). It listed ways for a Pole to recognize a Jew, including last name, physical appearance, character traits, modes of expression, and methods of operation.

Among the traits: a Jew will not walk in a straight line, but sways sideways like a duck.

“It makes me sick,” my friend said. “I feel drained.”

And why is it so important for a Pole to detect a Jew?

She continued to translate, periodically repeating how this made her sick to speak these hateful words. It was also making me sick, listening.

It’s important, according to the article, because Jews do not owe allegiance to Poland, but rather to a global Jewish government. To accomplish their goals Jews camouflage themselves as Poles. Pretending to be Poles, they work against the interests of Poland. They are at work, camouflaged everywhere, even in the Church.

The article claims that Jews work against the national interest wherever they live. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are real is the assertion, but the Jews have managed to deceive people into believing it’s fake.

The Tylko Polska article is a compendium of familiar anti-Semitic tropes, once prevalent in the 1930s and Nazi Germany. According to my friend’s research, this fringe publication has existed since 2002.

My husband, Don Snyder, first brought the article to my attention. A retired NBC news producer, his freelance work in retirement focuses on Eastern Europe and Germany. He noticed a March 14 news release from the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Warsaw office that called upon the Polish government to condemn distribution of this anti-Semitic newspaper.

“The distribution of Tylko Polska nationally is astonishing,” said Agnieszka Markiewicz, Director of AJC of Central Europe. “That it is readily available on Polish government property is outrageous.”

The paper, available throughout Poland, was being sold at a kiosk in the Polish parliament.

In an email response to my query, Markiewicz noted that while the content of this paper does not represent the views of the majority of Poles, or the government, “not enough (if anything) is being done to counter this very disturbing phenomenon.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) global index of anti-Semitism, 37 percent of Poles, or 11 million people, harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. The score is also high in other nationalistic, ethno-centric countries such as Hungary.

As I researched this, the massacre in New Zealand happened. The nationalistic, ethno-centric thinking behind this killing was unmistakable.

Comments from the murderer: “A jew living in israel is no enemy of mine, so long as they do not seek to subvert or harm my people,” and “The invaders must be removed from European soil, regardless of where they came from. Roma, African, Indian, Turkish, Semitic or other.” The invaders must be shown “that our lands will never be their lands.” The worshipers in the mosques were a “large group of invaders ... that seek to occupy my peoples lands and ethnically replace my own people.”

We know this sentiment from the Charlottesville chants: “Jews will not replace us.”

The killer called President Trump “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”

But as with Charlottesville, Trump dismissed white supremacy as a legitimate cause for concern. “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” he said.

According to the experts, however, we indeed have cause for concern.

ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt:

“This attack underscores that modern white supremacy is an international threat that knows no borders. The hatred that led to violence in Pittsburgh and Charlottesville is finding new adherents around the world. It appears that this attack was not just focused on New Zealand but was intended to have a global impact — and it has.”

I finish this column as the Jewish holiday of Purim begins, celebrating victory over Haman who intended to destroy all Jews, acting as Amalek, the eternal enemy of the Jewish people.

We ignore the destructive force of Amalek at our peril. Hatred of “the other,” as reflected in Tylko Polska, is an assault upon all humankind, a threat to our very humanity.

Alma Rutgers served in Greenwich town government for 25 years. Her blog is at blog.ctnews.com/rutgers/