(October 4, 2018 / JNS) In secret recordings from 2013, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki allegedly complained to friends about “greedy” and rich “Americans, Jews, Germans, Englishmen and Swiss” who run hedge funds.
The recordings were made public on Tuesday by the Polish news site Onet.
Morawiecki was a senior banker when he made the alleged statement. The conversation was recorded at a dinner with friends at an upscale restaurant in the Polish capital of Warsaw.
The conversation was part of a series of tapes that hammered the popularity of the then-Civic Platform-led government and helped drive it from power in 2015, when it was replaced by Morawiecki’s right-wing Law and Justice Party.
In another recording, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported, then-Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz appeared to ask the country’s central bank chief to give the economy a boost to help the government get re-elected. Under Polish law, the central bank must remain independent of politics.
Now, however, the content of the Morawiecki recording is coming back to haunt him—ahead of a trip to the United States—on one of his government’s most sensitive foreign-policy issues: its relationship with Jews and Israel.
In January, Poland passed a law that triggered the worst crisis in Polish-Israeli relations in recent history, additionally damaging Poland’s relations with the United States. The law made blaming the Polish nation for Nazi crimes a punishable offense.
In February, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Morawiecki for saying Jewish collaborators were among the perpetrators in World War II, in addition to Poles and others.
In June, Poland backtracked on the Holocaust speech law, scrapping the penalty of imprisonment for people who attribute Nazi crimes to the Polish nation, but leaving the fines in place.