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American Jewish Congress

Praises Polish Foreign Minister
for Clear Stance on Anti-Semitism

February 5, 2008

New York - The American Jewish Committee praised the newly-appointed Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski for instructing Polish diplomats around the world to avoid any contact with Jan Kobylanski, leader of the South American Polonia organization, USOPAL.

"Foreign Minister Sikorski's clear stance sends an important message that such anti-Semitic invective by Jan Kobylanski will not be tolerated in Poland," said Rabbi Andrew Baker, AJC's director of international Jewish affairs.

Kobylanski is known for his extreme, anti-Semitic views and for his ties to far-right politicians in Poland. He also is linked with Father Tadeusz Rydzyk's media conglomerate, which includes the xenophobic and anti-Semitic Radio Maryja.

The Foreign Minister met with AJC during his first official visit to Washington for a discussion that covered a broad range of issues in Polish-Jewish and Polish-American relations. He indicated that an investigation into Kobylanski's activities is underway in Poland.

Guy Billauer, AJC's associate director of international Jewish affairs joined with Rabbi Baker in the meeting.

AJC has long played a central role in furthering Polish-Jewish relations. AJC was among the first non-governmental organizations to support Poland's membership in NATO. It is a co-founder and sponsor of the National Polish American-Jewish American Council. It conducts an annual exchange program with the Warsaw-based Forum for Dialogue Among Nations, and recently co-published with the Forum Difficult Questions in Polish-Jewish Dialogue, a volume dedicated to deepening understanding between young American Jews and Poles. AJC was the international partner with the Polish government to build a fitting and lasting memorial at the site of the Nazi death camp in Belzec, Poland.