A far right Polish YouTube channel with 250,000 subscribers is regularly producing content targeting Jews, the LGBTQ+ community and Ukrainian refugees, Poland’s leading anti-racism association has warned in a new report.
The “National Media” channel is run by Robert Bakiewicz, a far-right activist who organizes the annual ultranationalist “Independence March” through Warsaw on Nov. 11.
According to the Never Again Association, which authored the report, Bakiewicz’s various organizations, including National Media, have received almost $1 million from public funds distributed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
The report recorded numerous examples of antisemitic content disseminated by National Media. Among them were medieval accusations of blood libel — falsely accusing Jews of murdering Christian children for ritual purposes — as well as claims that the Jews are behind the current war in Ukraine, have falsified the history of the Holocaust for financial gain, are guilty themselves of creating antisemitism, and are trying to appropriate Poland in order to build their own state under the Hebrew name for Poland, “Polin.”
Examples of antisemitic invective over the last year included a comment from Radoslaw Patlewicz, an antisemitic writer, that there “is hard evidence that the Jews used the blood of humans and animals primarily for medical purposes, as well as for ritual purposes.”
In another broadcast, Patlewicz said that Jews “expressly demand a de facto liquidation of Christianity, so what attitude should Christians feel toward the Jews? It can be said that the Jews are in some ways looking for trouble coming to them, that somebody could harm them.”
While Poland has reacted sympathetically to the plight of Ukrainians facing Russian invasion, accepting nearly two million refugees from its neighbor, National Media contributors have sought to curb the new arrivals. “After all, 500,000 people from a country torn by war, this could be the source of not only the COVID virus, but a number of other very dangerous things,” Piotr Strzembosz, a far right activist, said on the channel last March.
“If there is a state of war, people may have difficulty maintaining hygiene, they can transmit various parasites, here let’s not be afraid of that word,” he added pointedly.
National Media’s content “clearly breaches YouTube community standards and we expect YouTube to take action,” Jacek Dziegielewski, a Never Again researcher, said in a statement accompanying the report.
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