The Polish Government Condemned Racism but Defended Nationalists
The Polish Foreign Ministry said it condemned the racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic ideas, but insisted that the nationalist march in Warsaw during the weekend was largely an expression of patriotic values, the Associated Press reported.
The ministry said the march on Independence Day Saturday was a "great celebration of Poles differing in their views but united by the common ideals of freedom and loyalty to the independent state." The march was organized by groups that originated from radical anti-Semitic nationalist movements before the Second World War, AP said. Nearly 60,000 people, including entire families with their children and the elderly, took part in it.
But there were also young people who posed posters with messages: "White Europe of Fraternal Nations". Some of them wore a Celtic cross, a symbol of supporters of the idea of superiority to the white race. The Israeli Foreign Ministry described the campaign as "a dangerous manifestation of extremist and racist elements."
Office spokesman Emanuel Nahshon said Israel hopes the Polish authorities will take action against the organizers. "History teaches us that we must act swiftly and resolutely against racist hatred," he said. However, the Polish Foreign Ministry responded that it is not fair to label the campaign based on some "occasional" events. Emphasizing their disapproval of extremism, the ministry recalled that they opposed the visit to Poland to Richard Spencer, the leading American supremacist. Spencer was scheduled to attend a Warsaw conference a day before the march, but the foreign ministry said he was not wanted in the country, AP said.
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