Polish Jewish leader heads protest against new parliament


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – A Jewish communal leader in Poland led a civil protest against the country’s new government.

Krzysztof Izdebski — a lawyer, academic and self-described transparency activist, as well as the president of the governing council of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland — organized the Nov. 26 demonstration in front of the Polish parliament building in Warsaw.

In an email to JTA, Izdebski said that he was not acting on behalf of the Polish Jewish umbrella organization.

He organized the demonstration with Jacob Gornicki of the ePanstw (or “eState”) Foundation to protest the lack of transparency in making changes to the Constitutional Tribunal.

Last week, the parliament, known as the Sejm, revoked a law passed several years earlier governing how to elect the five judges of the tribunal without prior discussion with the opposition.

“We are disappointed by the Sejm,” Izdebski and Gornicki said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Another protest is scheduled for Wednesday.

“We want a transparent and comprehensible state,” said Izdebski, the interia.pl news website reported. “We are opposed to the mode in which the Parliament makes decisions about the state system. Therefore, as citizens, we are here.”

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