Israel Postpones Polish Official’s Visit in Holocaust Row

YERUSHALAYIM -

After Poland brushed aside strenuous Israeli objections to legislation that criminalizes blaming Poland for the crimes of Nazism, Israel struck back on Thursday with a diplomatic sanction:

Polish national security advisor Pawel Soloch, set to visit Israel in the next few days, was declared temporarily unwelcome.

“In light of the Polish Senate’s approval of the bill, Israel asked to postpone the planned visit in Israel of the head of the Polish national security council,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Soloch was scheduled to travel to Israel on February 4-7, with a planned visit at Israel’s official Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem.

Meanwhile, Education Ministry director-general Shmuel Abuav said that the row over the Holocaust bill will not deter Israel from continuing to send students to Poland to visit the death camp sites.

Abuav told Hadashot news that “the guides will tell the truth as it happened.”

In addition, he noted that new curricula drafted by the ministry in response to the Polish bill examines the murders of over 2,000 Jews by Poles before and after World War II.

“No law will silence the instructors and guides, or the story we must tell the younger generation,” he said.

Approximately 40,000 Israeli students will visit Poland this year on Holocaust commemoration trips.