In response to the latest IPN law controversy, President of the Institute, Mr Aleksander M. Gancarz, has sent a letter of commitment to a number of Jewish organisations in Australia.
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF POLISH AFFAIRS
Australijski Instytut Spraw Polskich (AIPA)
5th March 2018
I write to you on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Australian Institute of Polish Affairs (AIPA) concerning the recent controversies surrounding Polish-Jewish and Polish-Israeli relations which have attracted considerable and adverse media coverage in Australia and overseas.
The controversies have been caused by the recent law signed by the Polish President, that makes it illegal to accuse the Polish state of complicity in Nazi and other war crimes. The new law and comments by public figures like the recent remarks by the Polish Prime Minister in Munich (17/02/2018) about “Jewish perpetrators” of the Holocaust, resulted in numerous world-wide protests and emotional outpourings and waves of claims and counter claims often propagating hate and anti-Semitism.
AIPA considers the law signed by the Polish President to be ill-considered, ineffective and harmful to the pursuit of truth and detrimental to the reputation of Poland. It distances itself from the remarks made by the Polish Prime Minister in Munich. All have the potential to stifle the frank and open historical discussions between Poles and Jews and to harm the wider Polish-Jewish relations.
Since its inception in 1991, AIPA has promoted Polish-Jewish dialogue in Australia in the spirit of openness, truth and mutual respect. This dialogue is one of our primary goals pursued by inviting many important Polish guest speakers (Jan Karski, Adam Michnik, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Pawel Spiewak among others) and engaging with numerous Jewish organisations in commemorating historical events important to both of our communities. These activities have resulted in strengthening trust, widening collaboration, and growing mutual respect between Polish and Jewish communities in Australia and abroad.
Today, not only do we continue this dialogue, but we also seek to combat anti-Polish and anti-Jewish propaganda.
The Australian Institute of Polish Affairs remains committed to the dialogue with the Jewish community, irrespective of the recent controversies created by the Polish government. In fact these controversies make our commitment to this dialogue even stronger.
Aleksander M. Gancarz OAM
Australian Institute of Polish Affairs
P.O BOX. 92 Glen Huntly, Victoria, 3163