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Archive for Poland

Newsline: Polish senator calls for Israeli ambassador’s expulsion

A Polish senator for the ruling party said he would not shake hands with Israel’s ambassador and that he favors her expulsion from Poland for saying anti-Semitism was on the rise there. Jan Zaryn said this during an interview published by the wPolsce news site. “If anyone today thinks to equate in any way the rule of the Law and Justice party to the persecution of Jews led by the communist party apparatus in 1968, or by the marshals, then I certainly will not shake hands with such a person. If this is done by the ambassador of a foreign state, then maybe we have to ask this lady to leave this country,” he is quoted as saying. His comments about Anna Azari come amid a diplomatic crisis between Israel and Poland over anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. The crisis began with the passing of a law in January that criminalizes blaming Poland for Nazi crimes. Several Jewish groups said the law impedes open debate and risks censoring research. Some critics of the law said it whitewashes what they called Polish complicity.



Newsline: Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Denounces Swastikas Graffiti on Polish Embassy

Swastikas and anti-Polish obscenities on the entrance to the Embassy of Poland in Tel Aviv are not to be tolerated in Israel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Monday. Hotovely was responding to a Polish protest to the Foreign Ministry about the anti-Polish graffiti that was found at the embassy on Sunday, hours after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at the Munich Security Conference that just as there were Polish, Ukrainian and Russian perpetrators of the Holocaust – not only German ones – so too there were Jewish perpetrators.


Newsline: Polish embassy in Tel Aviv vandalized with swastikas

Swastikas and anti-Polish slogans were found sprayed on Sunday at the entrance to the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv. Israel Police said an investigation has been launched. The graffiti was sprayed a day after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the Holocaust had Polish perpetrators, just as it had Jewish ones. Moraweicki made the statement at the Munich Security Conference in response to a question by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman regarding the controversial law that criminalizes mentioning the Polish nation’s complicity in the Holocaust. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sharply rebuked the ‘outrageous’ remarks.



Newsline: Holocaust survivors break into Polish embassy in Tel Aviv

Dozens of Holocaust survivors protested outside the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv on Thursday, demonstrating against a new law in Poland that criminalizes suggestions of Polish complicity in the Holocaust. The demonstrators carried signs with slogans such as: “No law can erase history” and “Poles, we remember what you did.” The demonstrators broke into the compound of the embassy singing Am Yisrael Chai, “The people of Israel live.” The protest was organized by the Haifa-based Yad Ezer La-Haver foundation, which runs a home in that city for Holocaust survivors. The protest is expected to grow, as survivors plan to set up a protest tent opposite the embassy and have called on citizens to sign a petition demanding that Poland repeal the law. “We are here to voice our protest, and we promise it won’t be quiet,” said Yad Ezer La-Haver CEO Shimon Sabag. Meanwhile, the International March of the Living announced it would continue holding its annual march in Poland. Earlier this week, Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Yael Antebi called on Education Minister Naftali Bennett to cancel student trips to Poland and move the March of the Living to Jerusalem.



Newsline: Israeli Embassy in Poland Protests Anti-Semitic Remarks

The Israeli Embassy in Warsaw issued a rare statement in Polish on Friday following an outburst of anti-Semitic comments against the embassy amid the crisis over the Holocaust bill passed by Poland’s senate early Thursday. “We cannot remain silent in the face of a wave of anti-Semitic attacks against us and Ambassador Anna Azari,” the statement said, referring to Israel’s envoy to Poland. According to the statement, most of the verbal anti-Semitic attacks against the embassy and the Israeli envoy were made on social media and Polish state television. In a separate remark, the embassy said “anti-Semitic statements are overflowing the internet channels in Poland, but they have become present on the main stream media too.” The director of the state-run television station TVP 2, Marcin Wolski, went on air Monday and said that the Nazi death camps should actually be called Jewish. “Who managed the crematoria there?” he asked in a reference to the fact that death camp prisoners, usually Jews, were forced as slave laborers to help dispose of gas chamber victims.



Newsline: Pakistanis in Poland protest against embassy in Warsaw over alleged misconduct

Overseas Pakistanis protested outside the Pakistan Embassy in Warsaw, Poland against ‘unprofessional’ and ‘irresponsible’ conduct of the embassy staff. The protest initiated after a staff member, identified as Mian Azeem, misbehaved with an overseas Pakistani and his Polish national wife, who claim that Azeem threatened to physically assault them. The protesters also demand suspension of a counselor, identified as Shamima Saeed, and various other members of the embassy staff. Earlier, Shamima Saeed refused to accept visa documents of the Polish woman and her daughter. The documents, however, were accepted later but no details regarding the visa issuance has been shared, said the family.



Newsline: Poland’s Deputy Ambassador to Israel Reprimanded Over Holocaust Bill

Poland’s deputy ambassador to Israel Piotr Kozlowski was reprimanded at Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday, one day after being summoned to discuss Poland’s new Holocaust legislation, which bars any mention of crimes by the “Polish nation” during the Holocaust. Kozlowski met with Rodica Radian-Gordon, director of the Foreign Ministry’s Europe department, and Akiva Tor, director of the department for Jewish communities. Kozlowski met with the Israeli representatives in place of the the Polish ambassador to Israel, who is currently abroad. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement in which it said the Polish deputy ambassador, who was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on Sunday, was told of Israel’s opposition to the legislation pending in the Polish parliament pertaining to the Holocaust that would criminalize the use of the term “Polish extermination camps” in reference to camps that Nazi Germany established in Poland and would also make it a criminal offense to express the view that Poles collaborated with the Nazis in killing Jews. The Foreign Ministry also noted what it said was the “surprising and particularly unfortunate timing” of the bill in the Polish parliament, just before International Holocaust Day, which was marked on Saturday.