Published: Mon, February 19, 2018

Poland's Israel Embassy Defaced After PM's Remarks

Poland's Israel Embassy Defaced After PM's Remarks

The prime minister of Poland was accused of antisemitism yesterday for saying that the Holocaust involved "Jewish perpetrators".

The Polish government on Sunday said claims by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki that Jews were among the perpetrators of the Holocaust were not anti-Semitic and did not intend to deny the genocide of European Jewry during World War II.

Swastikas and profanity were reportedly scrawled on the property of the Polish embassy in Israel over the weekend in the wake of controversial remarks made by the country's prime minister about the Holocaust.

Netanyahu's office said he told Morawiecki that "a comparison between the activities of Poles and the activities of Jews during the Holocaust is unfounded". The reporter, Ronen Bergman, told of his mother whose family narrowly escaped arrest by the Nazis after learning their Polish neighbors planned to turn them in.

Netanyahu, who is attending the same conference in Germany, retorted swiftly, calling Morawiecki's statement "outrageous" and lacking "sensitivity to the tragedy of our people".

He was responding to an Israeli journalist who asked if anyone who said there were Polish collaborators in the Holocaust would be considered a criminal in Poland under the new law.

"There were Polish perpetrators as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian and Ukrainian perpetrators, not only German perpetrators", Morawiecki said. The Polish law would make it illegal to relate the story, he said.

'Jewish perpetrators' of Holocaust remark by Polish PM sparks outrage in Israel

In recent weeks, Israeli officials have sharply criticized the legislation that criminalizes blaming Poland as a nation for crimes committed by Nazi Germany.

Goldschmidt stressed that calling Jews perpetrators of the Holocaust is "unacceptable to any person who knows history, who knows Europe, and wants a better future". "They don't deny that there were Poles who helped the Nazis and turned in Jews etc., but say you can't extend that to the entire Polish people".

Poland sparked global criticism over its stance on the facts of the Holocaust when it passed a law imposing jail terms for suggesting the country was complicit in the deaths of millions of Jews during the war. Netanyahu said today his government was "stable" and criticised the police investigation against him after detectives recommended his indictment for corruption, prompting calls for him to resign.

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid said in response to Morawiecki's comments, however, that Israel's ambassador to Poland should be recalled immediately.

"It should be remembered that according to the most conservative estimate 200,000 Jews in Poland were murdered by Poles", she tweeted, adding that "the crisis with Poland is only getting worse and there is no room here for compromises".

The unit, which was rooted in a far-right prewar political movement, had also fought Germans.

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