Outspoken Antisemitic Polish Pundit Launches TV Show

Polish pundit Rafal Ziemkiewicz known for antisemitic outbursts will land his own television show in one of the most popular Polish broadcast networks, reports The Algemeiner.

Rafal Ziemkiewicz, journalist of the Polish far-right weekly news magazine “Do Rzeczy” will be hosting an upcoming news and chat show “Bez Ogrodek” (“Without Inhibitions”) on the Polsat television channel. In the show, Ziemkiewicz will be discussing news and events with co-thinker columnist Monika Jaruzelska and Wiktor Swietlik.

Ziemkiewicz became a pundit after the collapse of the Polish communist regime in 1989. Since then, he has become known as a face of antisemitic, homophobic and anti-immigrant nationalist sentiment.

In its 2018 report on global antisemitism for 2018, the Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry highlighted Ziemkiewicz’s role as Poland’s leading antisemitic propagandist. In the same year, the Polish legislation passed the 2018 IPN Act, which allows for civil prosecutions of historians who research the phenomenon of Polish collusion with the Nazis. Ziemkiewicz then declared, “For many years I convinced people that we must support Israel. Today, because of a few stupid and greedy scabs, I feel like an idiot.”

According to the Kantor Center’s report, the word “scabs” has been “historically used in antisemitic discourse in Poland,” yet Ziemkiewicz was neither disciplined nor punished, and he repeated the offensive term on numerous occasions. Upon discovering his name in the report, Ziemkiewicz commented: “I consider it as my professional success to be included on a list of antisemites.”

Ziemkiewicz’s rhetoric targeting Jews is becoming increasingly malicious; in one of his videos posted on YouTube, he asserts that the Jewish victims of the 1941 pogrom in the Polish town of Jedwabne deserved their fate. “These Jews have historically been the exploiters, the leeches,” he says in the video, adding that “There has been no bigger enemy of the Polish peasant than the Jewish middleman who screwed him for cash in every possible way. In times of foreign occupations, they were also German spies. The emancipation of the Polish people required getting rid of those exploiters.”

Although the name of Ziemkiewicz has not yet gained international reputation, his hateful speeches targeting Jews and other minorities have raised concerns in several countries. With the launching television show, he will most probably reach a larger audience, since the Polsat channel is among the most widely aired Polish broadcasters.