Children in the rural Polish town of Pruchnik beating an antisemitic effigy of “Judas” to mark the Easter holiday. Photo: Screenshot.
The leadership of the Catholic Church in Poland on Monday strongly condemned an Easter holiday ritual in the southern town of Pruchnik in which adults and children dragged an effigy through the streets of a stereotypical Jew replete with a sidelocks, a large nose and a wide-brimmed hat, while beating it with sticks.
In a statement from the Polish Episcopal Conference — the church’s main organ — Bishop Rafal Markowski said that in the “context of the events that took place in Pruchnik on Good Friday, Apr. 19, the Church clearly expresses her disapproval of practices that harm human dignity.”
Markowski emphasized that the “Catholic Church will never tolerate signs of contempt for members of any nation, including the Jewish people.”
Friday’s gruesome spectacle was first reported by local newspaper Expres Jaroslawski, whose correspondent, Hubert Lewkowicz, expressed shock that the eighteenth-century “Judas court” ritual was being revived “after a break of a few years.”
APRIL 22, 2019 11:17 PM
Member of Parliament for the UK’s Labour Party Grahame Morris became the focus of controversy on Monday after he retweeted…
At 5 p.m. last Friday — the hour, in church tradition, that Jesus was crucified by the Roman authorities — the antisemitic effigy was cut down from a pole in the main square in Pruchnik and dragged to the front of the town’s church. The words “Judas 2019” and “Traitor” were scrawled in black ink on the effigy’s chest.
Video shot by Lewkowicz showed an adult man instructing several children to beat the effigy with sticks, kicks and stones as a “punishment” for the crime of Judas — one of the original disciples who betrayed Jesus to the Romans, according to the Christian Bible. At one point, after the effigy had received 30 lashes from a stick to symbolize the 30 pieces of silver supposedly paid to Judas, an adult was heard encouraging the children to continue.
“Give him five [lashes] more for the fact that they want compensation from Poland,” the adult shouted towards the crown, according to Lewkowicz. Polish ultranationalists have for several years insisted that Jewish commemoration of the three million Polish Jews murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust was motivated solely by financial gain, invoking the most widespread antisemitic stereotype prevalent in Polish society.
After the effigy was cut to pieces and burned, its remains were thrown from a bridge into the nearby Mleczka river. Lewkowicz wrote that as the effigy landed in the water, a woman standing beside him expressed disappointment at its quick disappearance. “In my day, there was more water and you could watch him swim,” the woman reportedly said.
Bishop Markowski nonetheless asserted that Friday’s ritual was un-Christian. “We remember the truth of faith that Christ gave his life for the salvation of all, which results in a Christian attitude of respect for every human being,” he said.
Jewish groups and Israeli leaders viscerally condemned the display in Pruchnik. In a statement expressing “disgust and outrage,” Robert Singer — CEO of the World Jewish Congress — declared that “Jews are deeply disturbed by this ghastly revival of medieval antisemitism that led to unimaginable violence and suffering.”
In Israel, Yair Lapid — co-leader of the Blue and White party– tweeted that “Poles should fight antisemitism, instead of passing laws which deny their part in the Holocaust” — a reference to legislation passed last year which effectively makes discussion of Polish complicity with the Nazi genocide illegal.
Lapid added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who enjoys a good, if occasionally strained, relationship with Poland’s right-wing nationalist government — “should stop hesitating, and denounce them.”
The US Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies.
It was the first time the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated a member of Lebanon’s Parliament under a sanctions list that targets those accused by Washington of providing support to terrorist organizations. Washington has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
South African fans in Cairo celebrating their team’s win over Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Photo: Reuters / Sumaya Hisham.
Three days after South Africa stunned the world of international soccer by knocking hosts Egypt out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, the sound of elation remains clearly detectable in the voice of the team’s Jewish midfielder, Dean Furman.
“It was a fantastic victory, just fantastic,” Furman told The Algemeiner during a break in training on Tuesday, as South Africa prepared for its crucial quarterfinal game against Nigeria, another of the continent’s toughest sides, tomorrow.
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother, Roger, at the Israel
For the second time in recent history, a Dutch Christian organization dedicated to supporting Israel has gone head-to-head with the government. With their family tradition of belief in Israel that preceded the state of Israel by almost one hundred years, it seems unlikely that the van Oordts are about to back down, no matter what the odds.
Last month, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made a request from the management of the Israel Products Center (IPC) to ensure they were in compliance with regulations adopted in 2015 by the European Commission requiring products made by Jewish owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins.
Studies have shown that dairy cows contribute large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the organisms living in their microbiomes.
Genetically modifying cows may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed world populations, a new study led by Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests.
“Our findings are both a major breakthrough for basic science and will have a positive impact on two major challenges facing the international community for the foreseeable future: climate change and food security,” Mizrahi said.
The decision by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to promote Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter reflects his future political aspirations.
Incoming Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019.
Israel has its own version of Napoleon’s famous saying, “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” In these parts, every general carries a prime minister’s baton — or at least that of a defense minister — in his pack
As Islamist Watch has pointed out many times before, Islam is enormously diverse – containing many competing schools of theology, schools of jurisprudence, sects, ethnicities, cultures and mysticisms. Islamism is also not a single force; it comprises dozens of (both) competing and collaborating radical ideologies.
One of the most intriguing divisions, then, within both American Islam and Islamism of late has been growing dissent over the question of liberalism.
Right after Trump’s inauguration, I ran an article about how incredibly fake the news coverage was about his inauguration. (Those reading my site know I’m not a big Trump fan, but credit where credit is due and calling fake where calling fake is due.) The media was nothing short of spectacularly fake in the news it contrived that week on CNN, the New York Times and the other major fake media, and they mostly got away with it.
It wasn’t condescension or contempt. Recent remarks by former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit reek of racism. That is the proper way to frame them, calling them anything else is letting him off easy. In its classic, formal sense, racism is when a certain social sector perceives itself as superior because of clear racial criteria. Shavit represents an updated version of racism that doesn’t require ethnicity or religion as proof of a defect – you can call it “essential racism.”
Little Napoleon Barak is going to save Israeli Democracy? What a bunch of claptrap Orwellian doublespeak.
Well let’s check out history. How well did the original Napoleon save France’s democratic revolution against the monarchy?
Hmm, if I recall he crowned himself emperor!
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10 left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.