AJC Central Europe, Meta Confront Antisemitism in Poland
October 12, 2022 — Warsaw, Poland
American Jewish Committee Central Europe today launched “Don’t Talk Like An Antisemite,” a social media campaign to fight antisemitism in Poland. Short videos appearing on Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks will raise awareness of words and terms that may not be recognized as furthering hate towards Jews but are still harmful and rooted in prejudice.
“Antisemitism starts with hurtful words and prejudices, but it never stops there,” said Dr. Sebastian Rejak, Director of the Shapiro Silverberg AJC Central Europe Office. “Using the word ‘Jew’ to offend people must end. Antisemitic words never should be ignored. Physical violence always starts with words. Hate speech may affect real people and their lives – we have seen that not only decades ago, but also recently, in Europe and beyond. Today, Jews are safer in Poland than in many western European countries, but that does not mean we can turn a blind eye to antisemitic words used in public debates and casual conversations in Polish society.”
The AJC videos emphasize that “many Jews are harmed daily by the use of antisemitic words.” Those who use words like “count like Jews” or “greedy Jews” in conversations, in online postings, for example, may not recognize their inherent prejudices.
“Choose words consciously,” state the videos, noting that some people may speak like antisemites even if they are not. The AJC campaign emphasizes that antisemitism in everyday speech must be confronted, that people should understand that words hurt if they single out and target a group perceived through the prism of negative stereotypes.
“Meta is once again involved in activities supporting minorities in Poland. Together with American Jewish Committee, we want to show through the Don’t Talk Like an Antisemite educational campaign that the responsibility for words lies with each of us, and by rejecting indifference we can build a better, open community,” said Jakub Turowski, Public Policy Director, Central and Eastern Europe, Meta.
AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, has long advocated for combating antisemitism in all its forms. Antisemitism targeting individual Jews, the Jewish community, and the State of Israel comes from the far right, the far left, and religious extremists. Whatever its source, hatred of Jews must be countered.