A British-born activist has threatened to sue a Polish politician that accused him of being “sent here to spy”, after video footage emerged of Polish villagers hitting a effigy of a Jew for Easter.
Janusz Korwin-Mikke, a former lawmaker in the European Parliament and leader of Poland’s small Liberty Party, is facing legal action after hitting out at London-born Jonny Daniels, over the Easter incident in the southern Polish town of Pruchnik.
The politician aired his conspiracy theory earlier this week while commenting on reports about a custom in which residents of the town beat with sticks, an effigy of an Orthodox Jew representing Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus.
Korwin-Mikke in a live-streamed conversation singled out Daniels, the founder of the Holocaust commemoration group From the Depths, as a foreign agent “sent here to spy, perhaps working for Freemasons.”
After the UK-Israeli activist called him out for his remarks, Korwin-Mikke said, according to to Daniels: “you can give me a shekel, a new or old one and we can be friends”.
The topic he was discussing is the media coverage of Friday’s event in Pruchnik.
Daniels said he would sue Korwin-Mikke over the false espionage claim, has condemned the event in the Polish media.
Meir Bulka, another Israeli who runs the J-Nerations group devoted to Jewish heritage sites in Poland that documented the incident, said it risks encouraging violence against Jews.
On Wednesday, police investigators arrived in Pruchnik following the initiation of a criminal investigation of incitement to violence, the Polish media reported.
Earlier that day, Israel’s Foreign Ministry joined the chorus of condemnations of the incident.
“We regret the antisemitic incident in the village of Pruchnik during the festival of Easter, but are encouraged by the firm reaction by the Polish church, authorities and senior officials in Poland’s government,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.