The Anti-Defamation League has called on the Polish government to retract the appointment of Antoni Macierewicz as the country's Defense Minister.
Macierewicz has been criticized numerous times for anti-Semitic pronouncements, and for saying that the infamous forgery the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was an authentic document.
The Protocols, which purport to describe a Jewish plan for dominating Christian Europe, was authored by the Czarist government in Russia in the early 20th century. On a radio talk show in 2002, Macierewicz was asked by a caller what he thought of the Protocols, and in response he said that he had read them and found them “interesting.”
Acknowledging that there was a “dispute” as to their authenticity, Macierewicz nevertheless said that “experience shows that there are such groups in Jewish circles.”
Macierewicz has also been strongly criticized by numerous political figures in Poland, and is known for other controversial statements. For example, he has accused Russia of being behind the 2010 death of former President Lech Kaczynski, the twin brother of opposition leader Jarosław Kaczynski, by causing his plane to explode at Smolensk airport in western Russia.
It was apparently for his hawkish views, especially on relations with Russia, that Macierewicz was nominated for the Defense Minister position.
In a letter to incoming Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt wrote that “while that statement (by Macierewicz) was made many years ago, it indicates profound and virulent anti-Semitism. We trust that you would not allow anyone of such convictions to be a member of your government.”