Polish delegation in Israel seeks Holocaust Law compromise

Israeli, Polish officials look to resolve dispute sparked by law banning reference to Polish involvement in Holocaust.

Tzvi Lev ,

Flag of Poland
Flag of Poland
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A Polish delegation made up of senior functionaries landed in Israel on Thursday to meet with top Israeli officials in order to find a compromise to a spat over the controversial "Holocaust Law".

The Polish delegation includes historians, advisers, and diplomats of the Polish Foreign Ministry.

The law, which was approved by the Polish Senate, allows a sentence of up to three years in prison for anyone ascribing "responsibility or co-responsibility to the Polish nation or state for crimes committed by the German Third Reich".

The Polish law caused outrage in Israel, and has been criticized by the U.S. State Department, the French Foreign Ministry, and certain Jewish organizations. Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Israel, opposed it as well, while also noting that blaming Poles for the Holocaust and using the phrase “Polish death camp” is unfair.

Stung by the heavy criticism, the Polish government announced last week that they would send a delegation to Israel in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem said during a meeting with the delegation, "it is no secret that the issue of Polish law regarding the Holocaust is a source of concern in Israel and among the Jewish people around the world. We must ensure that the historical truth is preserved and that there is no restriction on the freedom of speech, and that the fear of criminal punishment in this context needs to be discussed and resolved."

Rotem added that "we are aware that the Polish leadership has condemned these expressions, but we intend to discuss the issue, and preserving the memory of the Holocaust is a significant issue".




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