Polish officials protest column accusing citizens of anti-Semitism

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The Polish Embassy in London is protesting a column in The Times that accuses Poles of anti-Semitism.

Ambassador Witold Sobkow in a letter to the London newspaper protested against the column by regular columnist Giles Coren.

Coren, imitating the difficulty that some Poles have with English, wrote in the Feb. 2 edition, "In Poland man who not like Jews simple throw them down well with pitchfork still alive, drink vodka, big laugh ha ha, then is fill in concrete and dance on grave. And is not then afterwards say like scaredy cat coward, ‘I am sorry for the unintended offense.’ "

Sobkow in his letter to The Times wrote, "In Mr. Coren’s imagination, Poland appears to resemble Borat’s world. He ignores the fact that in Poland we build synagogues, not burn them as in some countries, and welcome freedom of faith and worship. When it comes to the Righteous among the Nations, Yad Vashem mentions 6,339 Polish rescuers, and only 19 from the UK. This fact speaks for itself."

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski urged his fellow Poles to join the protest against calling the Polish population anti-Semites.

Coren addressed the controversy on Twitter.

"Poles now writing in to tell me the reason they hate Jews is that they collaborated with the Nazis to bring about the downfall of Poland," he tweeted, adding that in the column he also painted "England as a nation of anti-Semites."

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