The four Central European EuroRealist countries of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic were supposed to gather together in Israel until Netanyahu and his new Foreign Minister ruined the occasion and made it politically impossible to do so. The Israeli premier was in the Polish capital last week for a US-organized Mideast summit, during which time he walked the line of possibly breaking last year’s new Polish law by allegedly accusing the entire nation of “collaborating” with the Nazis. He denied that he meant such a thing in his off-camera remarks and instead blamed Israeli media for misreporting his words, though Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki declined to attend the planned Visegrad meeting because of the scandal and said he’d send his Foreign Minister instead.
Everything soon thereafter fell apart, however, after new Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz shockingly said that “Every Pole suckled anti-Semitism with his mother’s milk”, which prompted Poland to immediately demand an apology but which instead resulted in the Czech Republic announcing that the summit would be cancelled and replaced by bilateral talks instead. Katz’s remark was the epitome of racism because it implied that hateful ideologies like anti-Semitism are ingrained in an ethnic group’s genes and passed down to every generation, a completely false notion but one whose variation in one way or another was nevertheless used against Jews for centuries to “justify” discrimination, pogroms, and ultimately genocide.
Poles have also been the scapegoats of racist abuse for centuries, and it’s very painful to once again be reminded of this by none other than the Israeli Foreign Minister, who as the top diplomat of Israel should understand exactly what this sort of ethnic hatred could lead to. It’s true that Poles and Jews share a very complex history with one another, but it’s nevertheless a common one that should have brought them closer together in the present day instead of ripped them further apart. After all, both of their governments had recently restored relations to such an excellent level that the first-ever Visegrad Four summit outside of Europe was supposed to take place in Israel.
Poland and its institutional partners – be they those from the Visegrad Four or the broader Warsaw-led Three Seas Initiative all across Central Europe – believe that they have more civilizational commonalities with Israel than their EuroLiberal Western European counterparts do, especially given the latter’s recent acceptance of large-scale migration from civilizationally dissimilar “Global South” states, to say nothing of their close political ties with Israel’s nemesis Iran. This scandal could therefore jeopardize that to both parties’ strategic detriment, even if it serves the short-term goal of their domestic political benefit by helping Netanyahu win re-election in early April and Poland’s EuroRealists come out on top in May’s European Parliamentary elections if both of them leverage this incident to appeal more to their base.
The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Feb 22, 2019:
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Part of the problem could be linguistic. Israelis have chosen Hebrew as their primary language, and inevitably this tends to decrease their fluency in English. Helping words such as “the” (as in “the Poles”) are often added unnecessarily. I’ve noticed this also with native speakers of Russian (which I don’t think has such helping words). Sure, Poles did collaborate with Nazis; to be clear, some Poles. The construction “the Poles” implies all or most Poles.
Another cause of the problem, might be Israeli emphasis on particular as distinguished from universal values. Particular values can be good, but only if not imposed forcibly, and they should be subordinated to universal values. But this is a problem not only in Israel, but is more problematic in some other groups or nations, which try to pass their particular values as universal. While we can approximate universal values only through common values, for example, in common law (Jus Gentiuim).