Polish prosecutors are investigating after a Norwegian medical student brandished an allegedly antisemitic poster during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Warsaw.
The poster carried by the student, Marie Andersen, showed a Star of David being binned and the words “keep the world clean”.
Andersen is a fifth-year student at the Medical University of Warsaw, which has apologised and launched disciplinary proceedings. The university told the JC she had been called into the dean’s office to explain her actions.
Paweł Jabłonski, undersecretary of state at the foreign ministry, called for a stronger response from authorities over the incident. “This absolutely shouldn’t happen,” he said. “Banners calling for hatred on national/ethnic grounds are a violation of the law.”
Students at the university wrote an open letter calling for Andersen, who is married to a Jordanian, to be expelled over the “utterly disgusting and unacceptable sign”.
A university spokesperson told the JC: “We are very concerned about [the incident]. The Medical University of Warsaw unequivocally condemns all manifestations of aggression and all expressions of hatred, including those rooted in nationality and race.
“The student appeared yesterday at the dean’s office to provide explanations. The university treats the matter seriously and as a priority. The rector started internal disciplinary proceedings. It has already been referred to the Students and Doctoral Students’ Disciplinary Proceedings Representative.
“Moreover, the case is being investigated by the prosecutor’s office. The university is at the disposal of law enforcement agencies.”
In an interview with the online media site Nexta, Andersen said the Star of David on her poster did not represent Jews but the Israeli government.
“Not Jews. Of course not Jews,” she said. “Freedom of religion is also a human right, which we support, but we do not support the Israeli government and the ethnical genocide they are doing right now to the Palestinian people.”