Polish opposition to try to change 'Holocaust law'

Polish opposition leader slams new Holocaust law and the 'diplomatic disaster' it caused, says he will work to change law's wording.

Nisan Tzur,

Yossi Zeliger/Flash90

Grzegorz Schetyna, who heads Poland's Civic Platform party, slammed his country's Law and Justice party and the Polish government for the new "Holocaust law," which he called "a diplomatic disaster" for Poland.

The Civic Platform party is Poland's main opposition party.

Earlier this month, Poland's Senate approved a bill making the use of phrases such as “Polish death camps” and claiming Polish responsibility for Holocaust atrocities a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. The law applies both in and out of Poland, to both Polish citizens and foreigners.

Schetyna said that next week his party intends to submit a bill which would change the language of the law.

"The current law submitted by Deputy Justice Minister Patryk Jaki, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's horrific explanations, have brought about a diplomatic disaster. For this reason, we will submit next Tuesday a proposal to change the law's wording. There is no room here for doing things halfway, we need a fast and united response, from all of us together," he wrote on Twitter.

Anti-Semitism in Poland is resurging according to observers, and is evidenced in other official actions besides the law, including the prime minister's statement about persecution perpetrated by Jews in the Holocaust that caused furious responses.

The legislation was widely criticized in Israel by lawmakers across the political spectrum, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. "The law is baseless; I strongly oppose it," Netanyahu wrote last month. "One cannot change history and the Holocaust cannot be denied."