Chris asked, "Is a good relationship with Jews important for Poles? A lot of people are writing rather bigoted things about Poles and I get the feeling that even if Poles acquiesced to the demands of the most vocal that nothing would change. A relationship of mutual respect would not be the result. All that would remain is a one-way relationship for which only Jews would benefit. The bigotry would remain or might intensify because the conciliatory attitude would be interpreted as a welcome mat for abuse. Would it be better if Poles and Jews just parted ways?"
My answer can be found in the book Bieganski. I hope all will read it.
A highly condensed and very simplified version here: Poles cannot escape negative stereotyping, for reasons I lay out in the book. Not only Jews, but non-Jews also stereotype Poles. James Carroll is, I think, Irish-American, and a former Catholic priest, and he has disseminated a highly influential version of Bieganski in his book "Constantine's Sword."
There is no escape for Poles when it comes to this stereotype. Poles must educate themselves – thus my book – and respond appropriately, thus blogs like this one, on the Crisis in Polonian Leadership, Organization, and Vision. As that blog entry lays out, there are things we could be doing and should be doing that we don't do. Poles and Polonians need to grow up and address the stereotype in an effective way.
About our relationship with Jews. Yes, Poles and Polonians should and must remain in relationship with Jews. This link takes you to a series of blog posts. These blog posts address the importance of Poland to Jews, the importance of Jews to Poland, love as a factor in Polish-Jewish relations, and Jews' defense of Poland. Anyone thinking of writing off Polish-Jewish interactions should really read this series of blog posts.
I'll repeat something I've said a million times. The problem here is us. We need to change our behavior. I stand by what I wrote in the blog series on the crisis in Polonian leadership, organization, and vision. We could and should be doing things to counteract the stereotype, and we just aren't doing them. And our failure is not Jewish people's fault. The good side is that the power for a better tomorrow is in our hands. We just have to exercise that power.