Gov’ts of Israel, Poland Agree to Expand Cooperation to Preserve the Memory of the Holocaust

YERUSHALAYIM -

The governments of Israel and Poland met in Yerushalayim on Tuesday, headed by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Polish Prime Minister Ms. Beata Szydło.

Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the close ties between the two nations. “We have seen a thriving friendship between Poland and Israel. It is real, it is tangible and there are also deep spiritual elements to it. The Jewish nation and the Polish nation share a history of a thousand years, a history that has known ups and downs and reached a nadir in the last century, with the annihilation of three million Polish Jews by the Nazis. Poland also suffered terribly during the war. The history of modern Israel and modern Poland in the last 70 years is one replete with hope and tremendous vibrancy. The story of the rise of these two modern democracies that enjoy free economies and which are home to strong nations is the story of hope that can be an inspiration for the whole world,” Netanyahu said.

“I have visited Poland several times in the past 30 years, and from visit to visit, I see the tremendous changes taking place there. Poland is one of the most important countries in Europe and is developing in many ways at a faster pace than most of Europe’s countries. We appreciate that, because in these 30 years, Israel has also undergone tremendous changes, developed rapidly and has become a leader in innovation, development and technology. Now we need to unite forces, and that is what we are doing.

“This is the third intergovernmental consultation between us,” Netanyahu noted, “and we discuss everything: youth exchanges, tourism, agriculture, defense against terror that threatens us all, and technological cooperation in various fields. I mentioned three areas in which Israel is advanced, which are changing the face of the world: cyber protection, digital healthcare and mechanical technology, which relies more and more on programming and big data. We are happy to share with Poland in all these areas, and see how we can cooperate for the success and security of both our nations and for a better future for everyone.

“Poland has taken a firm stand against anti-Semitism that has been rising in parts of Europe and I thank you for that. We know that Poland has also taken an important position against anti-Israel decisions at international forums. That is also very important.”

The governments issued a statement after the meeting, in which the prime ministers emphasized their desire to continue to strengthen the close ties between the governments.

Both prime ministers expressed satisfaction at the success of the intergovernmental meetings, during which various documents were signed to anchor the cooperation between the countries on various issues.

A foreign affairs agreement was signed in which both governments reaffirm their joint aim to further strengthen bilateral relations and welcome the growing intensity of the high-level contacts with emphasis on bolstering economic, science and technology, cyber defense, security and cultural cooperation.

Both countries believe that it is necessary and possible to reach a just and lasting solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, which is based on a framework of two states for two nations, the statement said.

The two governments also agreed that any challenge to the right of existence of the State of Israel and calls for its delegitimization and boycott are unacceptable.

On the defense and security fronts, the two countries agreed that their defense ministers will continue to strengthen the ties in this area. The defense institutes will continue their dialogue and cooperation in the face of shared threats and concerns, regionally and globally, in order to promote security in a way that will serve the mutual long-term interests of Poland and Israel.

The governments also appreciate the cooperation in areas of innovations, science and technology, and will also evaluate options for cooperation in space exploration, cyber security and the war on computer crime.

As for the commemoration of the Holocaust, the countries agreed that in honor of the 75th anniversary of the first transport to the German death camp Chelmno, marking the beginning of Aktion Reinhardt and the extermination of Polish Jews perpetrated by the Germans, they will spare no efforts to ensure that future generations honor the memory of all the Jews murdered during Aktion Reinhardt — the greatest Nazi German act of genocide during the Holocaust— as well as other victims of Nazi German crimes. Aktion Reinhardt, executed with the intention of killing Jews in occupied Poland, claimed the lives of up to 2 million people.