Several MKs from across the political spectrum responded Saturday to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's statement that the Holocaust included "Jewish perpetrators" as well.
"There were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukraine and German perpetrators," Morawiecki said Saturday.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, "The Polish Prime Minister's words here in Munich are outrageous. There's a huge problem of a lack of understanding of history, and a lack of sensitivity to our nation's tragedy. I intend to speak to him as soon as possible."
Yisrael Beytenu party head Robert Ilatov said, "The Polish Prime Minister...is doing everything possible to make the new Holocaust denial law acceptable. With cynical politeness, the Polish Prime Minister denies the Holocaust and rewrites the worst tragedy in our nation's history without even blinking. Any comparison between Jews and Poles when it comes to the Holocaust is a sin. The blood of three million Jews who were murdered in Poland with the active support of the Polish nation cries out from the earth. If the Polish Prime Minister thinks presenting the truth is so important, let him start by listing all the properties stolen from Jews by Poles during the course of the Holocaust and justified by the racist laws legislated in Nuremberg. These stolen properties are still being used and lived in by millions of Polish citizens, who show no readiness to return them."
MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin (Zionist Union) said, "The Jews' home, our country, the only safe place we have had for 2000 years, cannot make peace with Holocaust denial. When the Polish Prime Minister says there 'were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators,' that is the time for the Israeli government to do the minimum and recall, finally, the Israeli Ambassador to Poland. If Israel, the Jewish country, does not take drastic steps against Poland's Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism will only grow stronger. You can't stand at Israel's side and hate Jews. It's time the Israeli government sobers up. As long as the discussion in the Foreign and Defense Ministries is delayed, we cannot sit and listen to these things. At the beginning of the week I intend to submit a letter from several Knesset members demanding that."
MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Union) said, "It's time the Israeli government take practical steps to clarify to Poland that the law and their repeated declarations regarding the Poles and the Jewish Holocaust in Europe constitute Holocaust denial. It needs to demand a change to this twisted law, and until then, to downgrade the [Israeli] Embassy in Warsaw. Today's diplomatic interests are important, but Jewish history is more important."
Labor leader Avi Gabbay said, "Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks like a Holocaust denier. The blood of millions of Jews cries out from Polish soil against this distortion of history and the flight from culpability. Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and Poles played an active role in their murder. The Israeli government must serve as a mouthpiece for millions who were murdered, and must harshly condemn the words of Poland's Prime Minister."
MK Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Union) said, "This world is upside-down. The next step of Morawiecki's miserable project to erase the Polish nation's Holocaust crimes will apparently be to blame the Jews for the Holocaust of their own nation, and to present the Nazis as victims of circumstance. But before that happens, he'll need to sue the six million who were murdered, as well as their relatives who survived."
Meanwhile, Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) said, "I have thought deeply about the issue, and I have decided to continue the trips to Poland. Their purpose is to imprint the memory of the Holocaust, and they are, in fact, the most effective tool for that [purpose]. The preparations, the acquaintance with Jewish life in Poland, and most of all, the visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, have no replacement. We will not punish ourselves because of the Polish government's behavior."