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Jewish Journal

Anti-different (Poland)

Pavel Pustelnik

November 24, 2011 | 3:35 am

Anti-different

Have you ever heard about the National Rebirth of Poland (NRB)? Perhaps not, but it seems that the organization is receiving a lot of hype right now. The reasons are simple: the more scandalous you are the more they talk about you. However, there is a second layer here, dangerous, I’m afraid.

Living outside the country you were born in sometimes can make you a bit ‘immune’ to the information about the homeland. Parties are changing, taxes are sometimes going up, sometimes down, but as long as there is no war in the air, you do not follow the info-websites so eagerly. Recently however, a news hit the headlines. The organization has registered two controversial logos for their official use. The first is the celtic cross and the other, called by the organization ‘Sodomizing forbidden’ is an antigay symbol used many times by the organization. Who are those people, who catch attention through pretty peculiar activities?

The National Rebirth of Poland, ‘is the oldest Polish nationalist organization after WWII. Development of NOP (in Polish: Narodowe Odrodzenie Polski) from the day of raise (Nov. 10th, 1981)’ you can read on their website. This is followed by the history and finally the aims: ‘NOP attaches special importance to education of militants and sympathizers organizing training cycles on social and political issues, economy, religion and history. NOP is an ideological movement, however, for legal convenience, from 1992 is registered as a political party by the District Court in Warsaw and National Electoral Commission.’ For many it conveys a picture of a organization that has strong mindset but keeps it in the safe framework. The problem is that the reality is significantly more complex.

Firstly, the people who are engaged in the movement are very radical not only in their opinions but in their behavior as well. The recent events that have taken place in Warsaw during the manifestations on the Independence Day, are one of many examples. Secondly, the strong, homophobic inclination is being exposed more often and the campaign to recognize legally ‘Sodomizing forbidden’ logo was it climax. Unfortunately, the campaign proved to be successful. From now on the obscene sign can be exposed at any public space. The excuse is that the political organization (and this is how NRB is officially seen) can appear through its signs wherever they feel it is appropriate. The tool of ridiculing a minority used is a hideous play whose goal is stigmatization and humiliation. The overlaying myths are being produced in scope of so-called ‘safeguarding of traditional values’.

The process of unfolding the NRB’s discourse shows further groups that are within the interest of the organization. Among them there are Jewish individuals and communities. In one of the articles published on the official NRB’s website the author claims that the International Holocaust Remembrance Day established by the United Nations had a very precise aim. It was a cover-up for the politics of genocide that Israel is exercising against Palestine. What is more, the article underline Zionistic imperialism embodied in politics, economy and territorial struggle. This situates the organization close to their counterparts such us Forza Nuova in Italy, Movimento Social Republicano or the British National Party. Since the negation of Holocaust is forbidden by law, the hatred towards Jews is under the vestiges of alleged economical power of the Jewish lobby or international problems of Israel.

The direction of the path that NRB is following is sadly sullen. The strong nationalistic approach, eccentrically radical mindset and the language that is located far away from the civilized political discourse should cause concerns and anxiety of any minority. Gay people, Africans, Jews, Muslims, migrants, physically challenged. It is hard to predict who will be next, but the fact that the state is not openly against has nothing to do with the freedom of speech and democratic rules. The increasing urgency to act against the discriminatory statements instead of being blocked has been legitimatized. The further alliances will be happy to join the radicals and than the movement may be just to big to handle…

The NRB’s official YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/PropagandaNOP

Here you can find the whole array of registered logos that NRB can use:

http://www.nop.org.pl/2011/11/21/krzyz-celtycki-i-zakaz-pedalowania-zarejestrowane-jako-symbole-nop/

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