Report: Israel Rejects Official Polish Delegation Set to Discuss Controversial Law

The railway to the Auschwitz Nazi death camp. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, File)

Israel will not officially accept a diplomatic mission from Poland that Warsaw is planning to send in order to discuss the Israeli response to the new Polish law that forbids blaming the Polish nation for the death of Jews during the Holocaust. A report in Yediot Acharonot said that Israel is demanding that the Polish government express willingness to change the law before the delegation can be received.

The Polish delegation consists of five top diplomats and historical experts who were planning to come to Israel to discuss the Polish law with members of the government here. Several days ago, according to the report, Yazack Khodorovich, the Polish ambassador to Israel, discussed the matter with senior members of the Foreign Ministry, and set an appointment for the delegation to speak to officials for this week.

But several Ministry officials opposed the idea, saying that they would not allow themselves to be a part of a “photo opportunity” for the Polish delegation, and if the government did not express a willingness to change the law, there was no point in the delegation’s coming to discuss anything.

Israeli officials were further angered over the weekend when Andrzej Zybertowicz, an adviser to the Polish president, told the Polska Times newspaper that Israel’s reaction to the Polish law was due to its “feeling of shame at the passivity of the Jews during the Holocaust.” Israel, he said, was fighting to keep the monopoly on the Holocaust,” and that not only Poles, but “many Jews” themselves collaborated with the Nazis.