Published: Mon, February 19, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Benjamin Netanyahu: Polish PM's Holocaust comments 'outrageous'

Benjamin Netanyahu: Polish PM's Holocaust comments 'outrageous'

Morawiecki's comments sparked outrage among politicians in Israel, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

AJC opened its Central Europe Office in Warsaw last March, reflecting decades of engagement with Poland and a unique role in seeking to write a promising new chapter in Polish-Jewish relations.

"Dialogue about this most hard history is necessary, as a warning. We will conduct such dialogue with Israel".

Israeli Labor Party lawmaker Itzik Shmuly, who is pushing for a counter bill in the Israeli parliament to criminalize the denial of Nazi collaboration, quipped on Twitter that "the next step of Morawiecki's pathetic project to erase the crimes of the Polish people is probably going to be blaming the Jews for their own Holocaust and presenting the Nazis as victims of the circumstances". Sunday's telephone conversation was the second one that Morawiecki and Netanyahu had in three weeks in connection to the new law. The two prime ministers agreed to work together to soothe the intense feelings in both their countries.

Swastikas and anti-Polish profanities were on Sunday found drawn in marker pen on the gates and also on a bulletin board. They have launched an investigation.

"The Polish prime minister's remarks here in Munich are outrageous", said Netanyahu from a security conference in Munich, Germany.

Netanyahu also reiterated to his Polish counterpart that "the distortion regarding Poland could not be corrected by means of another distortion".

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Morawiecki responded: "It's not going to punishable, not going to be seen as criminal, to say that there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukrainian and German perpetrators".

The president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, issued a statement demanding an "immediate retraction and apology" from Poland.

"Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and Poles took an active part in their murder".

The Israeli government has repeatedly and vehemently protested the law, but speaking in Munich on Saturday, Morawiecki again defended it-setting off another round of anger from Israeli officials.

At the same time, the global Jewish advocacy organization has been clear in opposing the new law and simultaneously determined to help defuse the crisis, if possible, between the Polish government and world Jewry.

The amended law would also give legal aid to any Holocaust survivor telling their story who is prosecuted in a foreign country. "I intend to speak with him forthwith", he said. The spokesman, Krzysztof Lapinski, said Morawiecki's reply was in Poland's interest and meant to explain the new law.

Poland sparked worldwide 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.

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