Israel’s ambassador to Poland has said that the Polish authorities should do more to prevent anti-Semitism following a pro-Palestinian demonstration during which one of the slogans on a banner read “Keep the world clean” and showed an Israeli flag dumped in a waste basket.
The demonstration protesting Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip was held in Warsaw over the weekend. The protesters displayed Palestinian flags and accused Israel of committing genocide in the Hamas-controlled territory.
Banners at the event included the frequently used phrase: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” synonymous with calls for the destruction of the Israeli state.
Another banner, as reported by media, carried by a Norwegian student of medicine in Warsaw, Marie Andersen, had an image of the Israeli flag in a trash can with the caption “Keep the world clean.”
It is this banner that outraged Israel’s Ambassador Yacov Livne. He declared that the Polish authorities have the responsibility to prevent such blatant anti-Semitism.
Polish President Andrzej Duda categorically condemned the anti-Semitic slogans on display at the demonstration. “We Poles, because of our memory of the Holocaust, can never agree to anti-Semitism in any shape or form. There can be no tolerance for it, as it is totally alien to the values of our Republic,” he said in a post on social media.
Warsaw Medical University, at which the student carrying the offending banner is registered, has reacted to the matter on Facebook by stating that the university’s values include respect for all peoples and that it condemns any hate and intolerance based on the criteria of race or nationality.
Although the incident took place outside of the university, it would take action in accordance with the law, the institution added.
Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński took to social media to declare that the banners on display breached the law and criticized Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski for failing to react, saying the banners should have been used as the basis for stopping the demonstration from continuing.
Jabłoński reminded that Warsaw’s mayor had tried to ban demonstrations such as the independence march in November under the pretext that there could be hate speech, but now remained silent over blatant anti-Semitism. He asked whether Trzaskowski was reluctant to intervene in the pro-Palestine march because it was mainly attended by foreigners.
Only on Sunday evening did Trzaskowski finally condemn the anti-Semitic banners during the pro-Palestinian demonstration in Warsaw in a post on X.