Poland Says Still Awaits Israel’s Apology in Holocaust Row

poland israel
Minister Yisrael Katz (Flash90, File)

Poland is still awaiting an apology from Israel over comments made by Israel’s acting foreign minister regarding the role of Poles in the Nazi Holocaust, said Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek on Tuesday.

“We leave it to Israeli leaders to choose what form of reaction they will have and who will react, but it should be a unified and definite one,” Szynkowski told reporters.

At the same time, the United States ambassador to Poland sided with Poland in condemning remarks by Israel’s acting foreign minister on Polish anti-Semitism that have provoked a diplomatic crisis between Yerushalayim and Warsaw.

“Among close allies such as Poland and Israel, there is no place for such offensive comments as yesterday’s statement by Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz,” U.S. envoy Georgette Mosbacher wrote on Twitter in Polish, translated into English on The Times of Israel web site.

Mosbacher herself had drawn criticism from the Polish government when she asserted last year that Polish legislation banning the blaming of Nazi crimes against Jews during World War II on Poland was contributing to the rise of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, in Israel on Tuesday, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein defended acting foreign minister Yisrael Katz over remarks that have infuriated Poland.

Edelstein told a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Yerushalayim, that it is “the right of every senior Israeli official to tell the truth. For me, this is an example for the fragile relations between the countries.”

Katz said in media interviews earlier this week that “Poles collaborated with the Nazis, definitely. Collaborated with the Nazis. As [former Prime Minister] Yitzchak Shamir said — his father was murdered by Poles — from his point of view they sucked anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk. You can’t sugarcoat this history,” he said.


Updated Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 2:34 pm .