‘Go Home!’: US Ambassador to Warsaw Draws Antisemitic Fury From Polish Far Right
by Ben Cohen
The US ambassador in Warsaw has been facing a sustained rhetorical attack from Polish right-wing nationalists this week, with one televised missive falling upon classically-antisemitic tropes in denouncing her for allegedly violating the country’s sovereignty.
Georgette Mosbacher — appointed as envoy to Poland by US President Donald Trump in 2018 — has faced a deluge of criticism following a recent Twitter exchange in which she condemned a former Polish defense minister for a “disgusting and deplorable” statement made during the presidential election campaign that resulted in a narrow victory for the incumbent, Andrzej Duda, over the weekend.
The former minister, Antoni Macierewicz, who continues to sit in the Polish parliament, had posted a message on Twitter in which he rounded on the centrist Civic Platform party over its support for the rights of the LGBT+ community, as well as its defense of liberal private media outlets detested by Polish ultranationalists.
In vehement language, Macierewicz accused his political opponents of “LGBT and pedophilia propagation” and “demoralization of children and the family.” He charged that Civic Platform was “financing the persecution of Polish priests” accused of sexual abuse, as well as engaged in defending the “lies of TVN” — a private broadcaster that was purchased by American media giant Discovery Inc. two years ago.
In a response a few days later, Mosbacher retweeted Macierewicz’s post with a note castigating his “divisive and hateful commentary.”
“Any decent human being should reject this type of rhetoric!” Mosbacher wrote.
The reaction of Macierewicz’s allies was predictably furious. On Wednesday, Krzysztof Bosak, a far-right parliamentarian, led calls for Mosbacher to be declared “persona non grata” in Poland.
Separately, Robert Winnicki — another far-right MP with links to the Iranian regime — alleged that Mosbacher had violated diplomatic protocols by intervening on Polish domestic issues on nine different occasions.
On social media platforms, meanwhile, supporters of right-wing and nationalist groups echoed Winnicki’s insistence that the Polish government expel Mosbacher, with many posts demanding that she “go home!”
One of the more virulent attacks on Mosbacher was broadcast on Tuesday, replete with antisemitic tropes.
In a televised commentary, far-right journalist Tomasz Sommer assailed Mosbacher using crudely antisemitic and sexist terminology.
Discussing the ambassador’s personal life, Sommer remarked that her second husband was a Polish-born Jew who had worked with “Jewish movie companies in the US” before he purchased “a company named Fabergé from another Jew who was from Bialystok.”
Sommer went on to claim that Mosbacher was descended from a family of German Jews who had converted to Protestant Christianity.
“They baptized themselves as Protestants; there are many baptized Jews among Protestants,” he said.
Turning to Mosbacher’s support for restitution of property belonging to the three million Polish Jews exterminated during the Nazi Holocaust, Sommer commented that the ambassador’s stance had been inspired by her being divorced on three different occasions.
“The JUST Act is meant to squeeze money out of Poland just like she got money from her divorces,” Sommer asserted, in a reference to legislation passed by the US Congress which requires the State Department to monitor compliance with Holocaust-era compensation by nearly 50 countries, including Poland.
For her part, Mosbacher remained defiant on Wednesday.
“When I took my oath as Ambassador, I didn’t give up my ethics, values, or sense of right and wrong,” she wrote on her Twitter feed. “When I see history being distorted or interpreted for malign reasons, I speak out regardless of being Ambassador or not.”
In her two years in Poland, Mosbacher has confounded expectations that she would avoid political controversies, not least because of President Trump’s admiration for Duda’s right-wing government.
Instead, she has crossed swords with local politicians on a range of issues, becoming a hate figure for the vocal Polish far right and symbolizing its obsession with supposed “Jewish” designs against the country.
When Mosbacher offered her festive greetings for the Jewish holiday of Passover in April 2019, a wave of antisemitic invective quickly followed.
“Christ also died for you, traitorous Jews,” asserted one reply to Mosbacher’s wish for a “peaceful, joyful” Passover.