Monday, April 27, 2009

Ryszard Bender an ultra far right anti Semite runs for Libertas in Poland

Dominika Pszczolkowska the Polish Brussels correspondent for Gazeta Wyborcza has raised some disturbing issues regarding Libertas in Poland. She notes that they have tried to strengthen their position by recruiting from the far right.

One Libertas candidate is senator Ryszard Bender, an ex member of the League of Polish Families who is now in PiS (Law and Justice). He is extreme right winger whose anti Semitism has been noted in academic journals

Similarly theIndex on Censorship describes the LPR as 'the most far-right' party in the Sejm andSamoobrona as 'the most extreme'.7 Noting that one LPR leader (Ryszard Bender) hadcampaigned against President Kwasniewski's commemoration of the Jedwabne massacre, theStephen Roth Institute at Tel Aviv University describes the LPR as the 'first party of the anti-semític extreme right in postwar Polish history to gain seats in parliament'.Similarly, theInstitute's claim that Andrzej Lepper of Samoobrona 'has tried to distance himself from hisfar right condemning antisemitism' seems to imply that he was (and perhaps still is)both far right and antisemític.
page 4

Translated version of

Libertas in Poland not as dead as it looked
Dominika Pszczolkowska

The Polish branch of Libertas may not be as dead as it looked. They are battling for candidates with Law and Justice (Kaczyński’s party) and have managed to attract some known euroscetics.

Some time ago I reported here that Declan Ganley’s Libertas has veered off course in Poland and is linking itself with very marginal figures. I don’t know if they heard my message, but it seems they are trying to fix the problem. Thay have had some success in attracting hard euroscepric right wingers.

One of them, as Gazeta Wyborcza reports here (in Polish) is Anna Sobecka, currently an MP with Law and Justice, and formerly a presenter with Radio Maryja. The radio (if you haven’t heard) is notorious for its right wing, antieuropean and antisemitic views, but at a certain stage was the most influential voice of the extreme right in Poland.

Another Libertas candidate is senator Ryszard Bender, also an extreme right winger attracted by Law and Justice during the last election to push the League of Polish Families off the political stage.

This shows that Libertas is managing to enter the main current of extreme right wingers in Poland. The Law and Justice are obviously afraid of a new rival on the right and are trying to attract extremists as well - their candidate in Łódź will be current MEP Urszula Krupa (elected previously from the now nearly dead League of Polish Families) who has publicly stated that the aim of the EU is to reduce the number of Poles to 15 mln (from the current 39 mln or so. Don’t ask me how).

So does all this mean Libertas will win any votes in Poland? I still don’t think so. The times for extreme right wingers are (finally) not good in Poland. Being on the right side of Law and Justice can’t do Libertas any good. The 5% threshhold is still very far. But it’s nice to watch their competition with Law and Justice, let’s hope they weaken each other.

Also, it’s amazing how far the Polish Libertas is from Declan Ganley’s message of being proeuropean, but against the Lisbon treaty. These guys are antieuropean, not to mention as backward as they come. Have you noticed, Mr. Ganley?

(Dominika Pszczolkowska on BBC The Record )

From you can log in and discuss . The site is owned by Libertas founder David Cochrane, posters like Cookiemonster are admitted Libertas members, you may have hours of fun arguing with him but these days he is hiding more and nore.

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It would be interesting to know what the Portuguese MPT make of the Polish Libertas candidates.

A Polish journalist, Dominika Pszczolkowska, who writes a blog in English, has listed the names of two Libertas Polska candidates on her blog.

One of the Libertas candidates mentioned by her is Ryszard Bender.

Is this the same Ryszard Bender mentioned in this book chapter?

Noting that one LPR leader (Ryszard Bender) had campaigned against President Kwasniewski's commemoration of the Jedwabne massacre, the Stephen Roth Institute at Tel Aviv University describes the LPR as the 'first party of the anti-semític extreme right in postwar Polish history to gain seats in parliament'.
The Jedwabne massacre (or pogrom), which Ryszard Bender didn't want President Kwasniewski to commemorate, led to the death of up to 440 Jewish men, women and children:

A month later, on the morning of July 10 1941, by the order of mayor Karolak and German gendarmerie, a group of non-Jewish Poles from Jedwabne and its neighborhood rounded up the local Jews as well as those seeking refuge from nearby towns and villages such as Wizna and Kolno. The Jews were taken to the square in the centre of Jedwabne, where they were ordered to pluck grass, attacked and beaten. A group of about 40 Jews were forced to demolish a statue of Lenin erected by NKWD and then carry it out of town while singing Soviet songs. The local rabbi was forced to lead this procession. The group was taken to a pre-emptied barn, killed and buried along with fragments of the monument, while most of the remaining Jews, estimated at around 250 to 400, including many women and children, were led to the same barn later that day, locked inside and burned alive using kerosene from the former Soviet supplies (or German gasoline, by different accounts) in the presence of eight German gendarmes shooting those trying to escape. The remains of both groups were buried in two mass graves in the barn.

The other candidate mentioned, Anna Sobecka, is a staunchly conservative Catholic, who claimed (Google Translate) that the Charter of Fundamental Rights would 'encourage abortion and euthanasia', open 'the door to eugenic practices', lead to the 'promotion of gay pseudo-marriage', protect 'homosexual orientation', 'encourage children to rebel against parents' and would lead to the 'elimination of marriage as the sole foundation of the family'.

She also stated that 'the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights [would] strengthen trends towards discrimination against Catholics because of their religious and moral beliefs 'and that 'people faithful to [Christian] values [would] become second-class Europeans' if the Charter became law.

Does Eline van den Broek, lead Libertas candidate in the Netherlands, know about these people?

She was a member of the VVD (the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy), a Dutch poltical party whose 2005 Liberal Manifesto included the following positions:

  • The principle of non-discrimination should be given more importance than the exercise of religion.
  • 'Social rights' are to be continued. These are not simple 'rights', but they also create 'obligations'.
  • Euthanasia is part of a person's 'right' to self-determination.
  • Commitment to an open economy, with a 'regulated free-market', including Patents.
  • Support for the freedom of contract. No nationally binding collective bargaining agreements.
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