Polish President Bronisław Komorowski with Kn
Polish President Bronisław Komorowski with KnKnesset spokesperson

The President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski, in in Israel on a state visit, and on Monday afternoon he was hosted by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. At a festive reception, Edelstein told Komorowski that “Poland and Israel are long time friends, and Poland has been a great supporter of Israel. Our two nations have a shared history, one that has experienced highs and lows.

“I hope to be able to continue the cooperation we have enjoyed with the Polish parliament, and to deepen the ties between our countries,” Edelstein said.

One major issue that has worried Israel and world Jewry is the recent decision by the Polish parliament to ban Jewish ritual slaughter (shechita).

“Such decisions have a major impact on Europe, similar to calls by the European Union to limit circumcision. Jews feel unwanted in many European countries now,” Edelstein said, adding that the issue of the right to circumcision was one that united every member of the Knesset, regardless of their political differences.

In response, Komorowski said that “we both know very well how parliaments work. Sometimes a parliament is difficult to control. Neither the government nor the president's office was behind the anti-shechita legislation. Our constitutional court is currently examining the matter, and I hope that their decision will ensure freedom of religion and ceremony for all religions. This is a very important issue for us,” he said, adding that he hoped that “the good relations between our two countries will continue.”