I have written before about the truly disgusting campaign against the Polish leader of the Conservative and Reformists Group in the European Parliament. Labour Ministers have been active in the campaign to smear the Conservative Party by association and have claimed that Kaminski is homophobic and anti-semitic. Many people have testified in support of Michal Kaminski but still the smears continue.
One source that has been cited against him is the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, who previously said “…it is clear that Mr Kaminski was a member of NOP, a group that is openly far right and neo-nazi. Anyone who would want to align himself with a person who was an active member of NOP and the Committee to Defend the Good Name of Jedwabne (which was established to deny historical facts of the massacre at Jedwabne) needs to understand with what and by whom he is being represented.”
The Rabbi has now clarified his earlier remarks and mounted a strong attack on those who are smearing Kaminski. In his most recent remarks he said “There is no doubt that Kaminski is a strong friend of the State of Israel. He himself has spoken out against anti-Semitism on several occasions during the past decade. It is a grotesque distortion that people are quoting me to prove that Kaminski is an anti-Semite. Portraying Kaminski as a neo Nazi plays into the painful and false stereotype that all Poles are anti-Semitic. I would also like to clarify that the headline of James Macintyre article of July 29, 2009 entitled: “Jewish Leaders Turn on Cameron’s Tories: Poland’s chief rabbi and others call on Cameron to sever ties with Polish MEP” does not represent what I said to the author. I made no political statement and this headline is misleading and untrue.”
It is too much to hope that James Macintyre will offer Kaminski an apology but perhaps it is not too much to hope that the nasty, personal, and inaccurate smears by senior Labour Party figures will now stop. Michal Kaminski is a moderate mainstream politician from a conservative Catholic country. His views will not always accord precisely with the secular liberal values of most of Western Europe but an anti-semite and homophobe he most certainly is not. Labour should look a little more closely at their own record before trying to make personal attacks on others.