Kaminski invited on Jewish tour of Britain

By Leon Symons, November 3, 2010
Michal Kaminski

Michal Kaminski

Controversial Polish right-wing politician Michal Kaminski has been invited to visit Britain to meet community leaders and talk to the Anglo-Jewish community.

Mr Kaminski has been invited to Mill Hill United Synagogue in north west London by its minister Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, and is likely to visit at least one other Orthodox synagogue. It is also likely that he will meet members of the Charedi community, some of whom were invited to visit Jewish historical sites by the Polish Foreign Ministry last month.

The trip was mooted during a meeting recently between Mr Kaminski and Filip Slipaczek, a friend of the Jewish community who has helped promote better Polish-Jewish relations.

Last year Mr Kaminski became head of a new European centre-right grouping in Europe. But he also became the centre of controversy over his past affiliation with a Polish far-right group with an antisemitic background and his opposition to a national apology for the wartime massacre of hundreds of Jews in a northern Polish town.

Mr Slipaczek said: “I was invited to Brussels by Marina Yannakoudakis, one of the four London MEPs. She introduced me to Mr Kaminski.

“We talked for half an hour. I discovered that one of his closest political advisers is a Lubavitch rabbi. He has also been involved in the defence of shechitah and told me that he is a supporter of Israel. I asked if he would come to Britain, and he said he would.”

Rabbi Schochet said: “We are intending to host Michal Kaminski at an evening open to the entire community once his itinerary is confirmed. It is hoped to hold this event in liaison with Conservative Friends of Israel and I personally hope to host him in a private capacity on a Friday night.

“I decided to extend the invitation precisely because of the ambiguity surrounding him. Mr Kaminski is known to have a colourful past but is presently a strong supporter of Israel and is leading a lobby against the anti-shechitah parties.”

Last updated: 3:21pm, November 3 2010