Tadeusz Markiewicz, a Polish former University of Haifa student, has been indicted in Poland for organizing a pro-Israel rally in front of the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw during Operation Protective Edge last summer.
Polish authorities ruled that the demonstration, attended by several dozen people, was illegal. It was organized as a counter-protest to a pro-Palestinian rally taking place at the same time. A court hearing will be held within the next month, at which Piotr Kadlcik, the president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, will testify. Kadlcik was among those who took part in the demonstration. If convicted, Markiewicz is expected to be fined about $800.
Markiewicz, an active member of the Jewish community in Poland, said, “The pro-Palestinian demonstration was violent and some of its participants made anti-Semitic remarks, such as, ‘We’ll make soap out of you.’ The problem is that our rally lasted longer than police had authorized and I, as the organizer, am being held responsible for this.”
He added, “The police clung to this trivial matter, but they did not address the anti-Semitic calls and support for Hamas [by the pro-Palestinian demonstrators], which are illegal in Poland. We are currently fighting for freedom of speech in our country. The court is wasting my time, my money and public funds.”