Israel Summons Polish Diplomat Over Holocaust Bill

"I ordered the Israeli ambassador in Poland to meet with the Polish prime minister and express Israel's opposition to the law".

"We have no tolerance for the distortion of the truth and rewriting history or denying the Holocaust", he said on Sunday.

An effort by the Polish parliament to ensure Poland isn't tarred with responsibility for helping Germany commit the Holocaust during World War II exploded into a Polish-Israeli war of words over the weekend.

Many Poles fear such phrasing makes some people incorrectly conclude that Poles had a role in running the camps. Critics say the legislation could have a chilling effect on debating history, harming freedom of expression and opening a window to Holocaust denial.

The measure, meant to apply to both Poles and foreigners, must still pass the Polish Senate before being signed by President Andrzej Duda.

At Auschwitz on Saturday evening, Israel's ambassador to Poland, Anna Azari, abandoned a prepared speech to criticize the bill, saying that "everyone in Israel was revolted at this news".

Lapid replied that he is "a son of a Holocaust survivor".

A photo taken yesterday on the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz shows the former Nazi German death camp's exterior. "Among the Poles there were some who aided the Nazis". "Every crime, every offence must be condemned, denounced, must be examined and exposed".

Israeli officials are opposed to the proposed law, suggesting it will limit discussion of Polish involvement in the Holocaust. It was conceived in Germany but hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered without ever meeting a German soldier. The bill also prohibits phrases such as "Polish death camps". My grandmother was murdered in Poland by Germans and Poles. "No law can change the historical truth and there is no need to "educate" the families of Holocaust victims, who live each day with the memories of their loved ones". "Shameless", the Polish embassy retorted.

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The call came hours after Israel summoned a top Polish diplomat to ask for clarification about the bill.

For decades, Polish society avoided discussing the killing of Jews by civilians. The book resulted in official apologies by the Polish state. Though the exact numbers are hard to measure, Gross said evidence indicates that Poles killed up to 30,000 Germans during the war, at most, while they probably killed 70,000 to 90,000 Jews, but possibly more.

"The Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Israel said ".

"It is an historic fact that many Poles helped the murder of Jews, informed on, turned in and themselves murdered many Jews during the Holocaust and after it", Bennett stated.

Leaders of Polish Jewry offered diverging reactions to the controversial bill passed Friday in the country's parliament, which aims to criminalize the term "Polish death camps" and claims of complicity by Poland in Nazi crimes.

There were heroic Poles who helped rescue Jews, although the large majority of ethnic Poles did little, partly out of fear over the German death penalty for aiding Jews.

The embassy tweeted the link to a statement from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance which stated its support of refraining from using the term Polish death camps.

The Polish government said in a statement the legislation aimed to stop the Polish people or state being blamed for Nazi crimes.

  • Adam Floyd