ROME (Feb. 4)
Several hundred Polish Jews and non-Jews, urging “peace for Israel,” held a rally for solidarity with Israel on Sunday outside Warsaw’s Royal Castle.
“I think this was the first public Jewish demonstration ever held in front of the Royal Castle,” Polish-Jewish activist Stanislaw Krajewski told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in a telephone interview from the Polish capital.
He explained that it was organized around the peace theme because Israel has become a target of Iraqi missiles.
Krajewski, a leader of the Poland-Israel Friendship Society which organized the event, stressed that supporters of Israel were encouraged by the recent statement of President Lech Walesa that Israel is a friend of Poland and similar assertions made in the Polish Senate.
A spokesman for the President’s Office, Jacek Mazarski, told the crowd in the Plac Zamkowy, or Castle Square, that there are “moral considerations” behind the support for Israel, Krajewski reported.
He said the demonstrators sang “Shalom Aleichem,” waved banners reading “Peace for Israel” and “Polish Jews with Israel” and gathered about 400 signatures on a “peace for Israel” petition that was to be presented to the Israeli ambassador in Warsaw, Meron Gordon.
According to Krajewski, the rally was held for three reasons: because missiles are aimed at Israeli civilians; because Iraq might use biological and chemical weapons against Israel; and because the Persian Gulf war could expand into a religious war.
“This would threaten everybody. The battlefield would be everywhere,” he said.