Jonny Daniels: Poland is the safest country in Europe for Jews
“Poland is the safest country in Europe for Jews. I walk proudly in Polish cities, as a proud Jew. People do not realize how high the level of acceptance and openness towards Jews in Poland is,” says Jonny Daniels, Executive Director of From the Depths, in an interview with wPolityce.pl.
wPolityce.pl: Why are you organizing this meeting here, at the Warsaw ZOO?
Jonny Daniels: We are here to honour those Poles who have saved Jews; those who have so far not received any reward for doing it. We want to tell these stories, to tell them publicly and with pride. The fact that 300 Polish Jews were saved in the Żabińskis’ villa is astonishing. Representatives of parliaments of four countries - Poland, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States - were present at today’s ceremony. It makes me proud that they came here to jointly honour these amazing Poles, these amazing people.
What do you think about current Polish-Israeli relations?
There is a big difference in how we perceive Polish-Israeli relations from an intergovernmental perspective and from the perspective of people-to-people contacts. There is also the issue of Polish-Jewish contacts. The latter also include the relations of American Jews with Poland. At the intergovernmental level, Poland's relations with Israel are phenomenal. It is hard to believe how well our governments work together. It's really extraordinary. We also saw a 45% increase in bilateral tourism this summer, and this is an amazing result. When it comes to American Jews, more work and effort is needed so that they understand the history of Poland, how it all was.
You live in Poland. In a country that is said not to be a good place for Jews, because Poles are anti-Semitic.
Poland is the safest country in Europe for Jews. I walk proudly in Polish cities, as a proud Jew. People do not realize how high the level of acceptance and openness towards Jews in Poland is. Of course also in Poland there are idiots who sit in the basement at their mum’s place and write rubbish on the Internet, but these jerks have always been doing it. There are also guys from the National Radical Camp (ONR), idiots who affect the image of Poland abroad in a very bad way. Of course, the government should do more to stop this kind of thing, because no one needs it and it serves no purpose.
You said that Poland is a safe country for Jews. Why other countries in Europe are not so safe?
If we look at it from a security perspective, the answer is very simple. Unfortunately, it all comes down to immigration. It does not sound politically correct, but unfortunately it is true. If you open borders to people from everywhere, you let in people from Syria or North Africa and you allow them to do whatever they like, then you will end up in serious trouble. And that’s what we see today.
What do you think that many Western journalists use the expression "Polish death camps"?
The expression “Polish death camps” is simply ridiculous. Both Polish and Jewish organisations should fight against it. The historical fact is that these were German Nazi death camps in occupied Poland. Lazy journalists are doing a bad job.