Polish Foreign Minister (and neo-con fave) Sikorski laments the 'racism' of Poles online

2 posts

Niccolo and Donkey
Smears and slurs in Poland - Wash your keyboard

The Economist

May 9, 2011

THE POLEMICS and hysteria in Polish politics are bad enough: accusing your opponent of mental illness, treachery and lies is just a throat-clearing formality. But compared with the online debate about the debate, those exchanges look like a colloquium between Socrates and Cicero. When commenting in internet forums, many Poles seem to lose their manners, to put it mildly, freely making the grossest personal insinuations about anyone unwise enough to pop their head above the parapet. That has a corrosive effect on the quality of public life. To be fair, this is not just a Polish problem, but at least in Poland someone is making a stand about it.

That person is none other than the foreign minister, Radek Sikorski (disclosure: an old friend of mine). In an interview last week in Gazeta Wyborcza (link in Polish) he complained about the way in which Polish newspapers allow anti-semitic and other grotesquely insulting comments on their websites, of a kind that they would never publish in print. He argued:
Mr Sikorski and his wife, the American Pulitzer-winning author Anne Applebaum, have been the butt of particularly venomous comments. One recent one read:
Which is simply too unpleasant to translate (maybe a reader with a strong stomach can try to render it in an appropriately illiterate and ranting tone). Another rather milder one merely accuses Mr Sikorski of being the "husband of an orthodox Jew, an enemy of Poland controlled by his father-in-law, bent on the “the destruction and destabilisation of Poland” and a "hidden, ruthless traitor". In December the minister forwarded these (and another one saying that Poles should finish off the Jews, the way Hitler started) to Poland's attorney-general, as a criminal complaint.

On Friday he appeared in court (link in English from Mr Sikorski's website) to give a deposition, complaining that the administrators of the sites concerned had not taken down the comments, despite being notified of their offensive content. He has also brought civil cases against two of the papers, Fakt (a hard-hitting tabloid) and Puls Biznesu (a business-news media outlet). He says:
The campaign has brought speedy results. The two papers concerned have taken down the offending comments and apologised unreservedly to Mr Sikorski.

It is easy to snigger about thin-skinned politicians who can't take criticism. But in this case my sympathies are with the fox, not the hounds. Anonymous online comments are probably a good thing on balance—but they do require some sort of moderation. That costs time and money, but news media need to take responsibility for that, and not simply try to muster as many clicks as possible by allowing discussion to rage (literally) unchecked. If they don't, then a lawsuit is a good response.
Bohdan Khmelnytsky

This is the best I could do. The post was filled with colloquialisms, misspellings, strange morphing of words and even foreign words. In other words, it was the Polish equivalent to a WN-tard post.

"For the dick without foreskin transmitter of Jewish policy, just like them our Church’s mind is won to Oy’srael. Little Isaac, did you know that your grandmother is of the Jewish UB house of Rojer? You two faced scoundrel, who seeks the Polish distribution of gas to fragles, you [???] Sikorski need a condom to match with your side curls."

I had trouble translating the comment about gas and Sikorski needing a condom to go with his "Jewish side curls".

Osrael = Izrael. I don't understand the spelling change, I suspect it's trying to morph Israel into something like Oy'srael.
Little Isaac = derogatory insult to jews.

Jewish UB house of Rojer = apparently his wife's family (former family name was Rojer) was part of the infamous UB, the Polish seceret police who worked against anti-communist elements after the war. They specifically targeted veterans of the home army so the organization is especially hated today. The organization was also led mainly by Jews.

Fragles = I don't know if we have an english equivalent but according to a Polish urban dictionary this is a person who is imperfect but has good intentions. The example they gave was the hunchback of notre dame.