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Archive for Israel

Newsline: Hard-Line Supporter of Israel Offers to Pay for US Embassy in Jerusalem

Sheldon G. Adelson, one of the most hawkish supporters of Israel among American Jews, has offered to help fund the construction of a new American Embassy in Jerusalem, according to the State Department, which on Friday said it was reviewing whether it could legally accept the donation. The total price tag to build the new embassy to replace the current one in Tel Aviv is estimated at around $500 million, according to one former State Department official. While private donors have previously paid for renovations to American ambassadors’ overseas residences, Mr. Adelson’s contribution would be likely to far surpass those gifts — and could further strain American diplomacy in the Middle East. Before the embassy is built, the Trump administration plans to open a temporary one in Jerusalem. On Friday, it said that it was accelerating the projected opening in time to mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel on May 14.


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: Israel gradually reopens embassy in Jordan after end of spat

Israel says it is reopening its embassy in Jordan after the two countries put a months long diplomatic spat behind them. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said on Tuesday that there will be a “gradual reopening” of the embassy in Amman but that no ambassador has been appointed yet. The embassy was closed after a shooting last summer there in which two Jordanians were killed. Israel’s ambassador returned to Israel along with the guard involved in the shooting. The guard claimed self-defense and received a hero’s welcome at home, angering Jordanians. The incident ruptured relations between the countries which signed a peace agreement in 1994 and cooperate on security and other issues. Israel has since reportedly expressed regret for the incident and offered compensation to the victims.


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.