Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hundreds against several - the open letter of more than 2500 polish scientists against 15 supporters of the government ...

The original Polish & English translation can be find here: https://sites.google.com/site/slpnp2016/

"Recently, 15 Polish scientists have written a letter to Frans Timmermans, criticizing triggering Article 7 against the Polish government.
We respect anyone's right to voice their opinion. We also respect those who signed the letter—many are our colleagues and teachers. However, we find the key claims of the letter unfounded and its language deeply divisive, even offensive. The purpose of the present statement is to make clear that a significant part of the Polish academic world rejects the accusations and innuendos contained in the letter, as well as its hostile tenor. The main claim of the letter is that European Union is trying to "overthrow our democratically elected government" , in order to destroy the strong Polish democracy, so as to be able to govern Poles and other European nations, using "a totalitarian social engineering" of political correctness and to keep supporting a host of "domestic and international thieves". Another reason is Polish government's refusal to admit refugees and, especially, the Polish "freedom of beliefs perhaps the most hated by the EU officials" . These grave charges were made with virtually no justification. They are supported only by sweeping statements like "our current judiciary system represented nothing but a self-protecting postcommunist organization". At the same time, the authors implore their "friends from academia and beyond" (in a letter addressed to Mr. Timmermans) to "think whether you have some serious grounds to believe your media. What if they lie?". In reality, there are absolutely no grounds to believe the main statements of the letter. The claim that the EU hates Polish freedom of belief and is trying to destroy it is preposterous. The opening criticism "It is strange by itself, that these EU personalities, themselves just appointed - not elected, love so much democracy" is an attempt at irony but comes out as a clumsy insult. The authors present no legal arguments or expertise, beyond a vague statement that "the proposed changes in our judiciary system are the same or are very similar to those, which exist in other Western countries systems for decades". In view of the international political situation, and of the Polish geographical position, it is of utmost importance for Poland to remain one of the key EU states, and for this it is imperative to treat the statements by the EU authorities seriously. We regret to conclude that our colleagues decided to put their signatures under a letter of dubious quality, containing standard propaganda slogans instead of arguments, written tenuously, inaccurately and aggresively. We want to make clear that we do not support its contents, its hostility or its awkward style. Statements on important political subjects should be argued carefully and we are supporting the idea of such a discussion. Making arbitrary accusations, regardless of one's political views, is harmful for the community, for Poland and for Europe."

I have also signed the letter.
Mirek Sopek

PS. The photo I used here was made by AFP Photo/Wojtek Radwanski (from https://www.yahoo.com/news/thousands-protest-against-polish-government-control-state-media-164547203.html)



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