Polish Ambassador: We are continuing to work as usual

Polish ambassador to Israel responds to incident in which a civilian spit on him. "Thanks for the words of encouragement."

Nitsan Keidar,

Marek Magierowski
Marek Magierowski
Polish Embassy

Poland’s Ambassador to Israel, Marek Magierowski, responded on Wednesday evening to the incident in which an Israeli citizen who visited the embassy spat at him.

"Thank you for the kind words of encouragement I received. We are continuing to work as usual," the ambassador said.

Arik Lederman, a 65-year-old Herzliya resident, was arrested after spitting at Magierowski, who was sitting in his car near the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv.

Police said Lederman had approached the vehicle after the ambassador’s car had honked at him. The suspect walked towards the ambassador’s car while shouting, and banged on the car’s roof. When the ambassador stepped out, the suspect spit at him.

The suspect told police that he had been on his way to the Polish embassy, but was rebuffed by embassy officials, who he says used anti-Semitic slurs when he tried to enter the building.

Earlier on Wednesday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki condemned the spitting incident as a “racist attack”, and the Polish foreign ministry summoned Israel’s ambassador to Warsaw for a reprimand over the incident.

Lederman apologized for the incident on Wednesday evening, saying in a letter, "My family experienced the hardships of the Holocaust in Poland, and my appeal to the embassy was regarding the restitution of property. As part of the appeal, I encountered a disparaging attitude on the part of the staff of the embassy, ​​who called me a 'Yid' in Polish. The statement hurt me a lot."

"Immediately after that, I left the entrance to the embassy offices and started to walk toward cars parked on the street near the embassy, ​​the rough sidewalks in the area made it difficult for a convenient passage, and I innocently walked along the road, as he came out from behind a vehicle that honked and made me panic. For this I expressed resentment and did so in a way that I regret,”.

Lederman stressed that "I certainly did not know about the identity of the vehicle's occupant or his job, and certainly did not know that the Polish ambassador in Israel was in the vehicle."

"As a result, I would like to express my sincere apologies for what happened, and I even asked my representatives to go to the embassy offices to apologize to the ambassador. I hope that the episode will come to an end and everything will be kept in proportion."