Amid death and destruction, the fallen Russian plane in the Sinai and constant attacks in Israel it’s always good to hear some positive news. I am particularly content on this occasion due to my background. Every time someone finds out that I was born and raised in Poland (apart from the initial shock) they continue saying, quite rightly so, that the Poles were as much involved in the Shoa as the Nazis. One cannot disagree since the history speaks for itself. However, in order to present the broader picture, especially with respect to those individuals, who actively opposed the regime and endangered their lives to save the Jews, I am forced to occupy the middle ground in those discussions. I don’t consider my role to be a burden. I strongly believe that it’s up to the individuals to remain human and make a change. Hitler was just one person, just one voice, who played the the drums of his generation, skilfully fuelling the pre-existing German animosity into an open hatred and convinced not even his own country to perpetrate systemised discrimination and eventual extermination of 6 million Jews.
How much more, my argument always follows, can a person do when they have best intentions in mind for their fellow human being? Only due to some of those good-hearted people, the Polish Jewry has been undergoing its Renaissance following the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
I am therefore more than pleased to hear that a private Polish security company, City Security, has selected one hundred of their best officers to fly to Israel to assist both the IDF and the Israeli Police Forces with securing the streets of Jerusalem. The company’s CEO, Beniamin Krasicki, stated that the company isn’t expecting any fee for their services, since the training that the Polish security guards would receive, would be their long-term reward.
The leading Polish News TVN provides two pieces of contradictory information in terms of who is planning to finance the endeavour (the cost of $700,000); the only information available is that “the Poles are happy to finance this operation”, so whether the money will be pulled out of their private pocket or there will be an agreement with the Polish government is currently unknown.
Josh Daniels from the Polish branch of the “From the Depths” Foundation, while interviewed, said that the initiative is a “positive step towards bridging our two countries” and that without any doubt, no political entity could achieve as much as the potential success of this operation would.
The talks between the City Security and the Israeli Ministry of Interior are still pending. Providing that the outcome will be satisfactory and terms agreed, the team of Polish security officers should be in Israel within a few weeks.
Both countries have a lot to benefit from each other long-term and, in spite of some opinions of the leading Polish university professors, Israelis do not throw tantrums for no reason. Rather, considering the situation, this Polish private initiative could pave the way for mutually beneficial cooperation and even stronger relationship between Jerusalem and Warsaw.
Despite some voices that the Polish private intervention in Israel may compromise Polish national security and expose the country to jihad, I was pleased to read some sober voices saying that “[the Poles] have to stand on one side only. We cannot play on two fronts. Either we support the idea of jihad or we oppose it. We can be attacked simply because we are infidels”.
On a personal note I couldn’t be happier, just as, similarly, I was overjoyed when I heard from within the IDF Navy in Chatzerim that Israelis also trained on the Polish soil. The good thing is that Poles are probably the toughest breed among European people (speaking from the perspective of living in the UK for many years and hearing how valued the Poles were to the UK economy) and they are fast-learners, so training under Israeli supervision may prove to be worthwhile for the Polish national security prospectively, should the need arise. I look forward to seeing the initiative taking form and being implemented successfully avoiding being put away on a shelf for a later, unspecified date due to a potential hiccup or two.