Netanyahu in Warsaw
Netanyahu in WarsawPhoto by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu mocked Poland’s controversial Holocaust censorship law on Thursday, publicly flouting the law during a state visit to Warsaw.

“Poles collaborated with the Nazis,” said Netanyahu in Warsaw Thursday. “See, I’m saying it. It is a fact. And I don’t know a single person who was ever sued because of it.”

Netanyahu added that the issue of Poland’s Holocaust censorship law was raised during his meeting with Polish Premier Mateusz Morawiecki.

In response, Kan reported, Prime Minister Morawiecki’s office released a statement calling Netanyahu’s comments “surprising”.

Morawiecki also tweeted Thursday evening, writing that there was "no Polish regime" during the Nazi occupation, emphasizing that both Jews and Poles suffered under German rule.

"In German-occupied Poland there was no Polish regime - a great misunderstanding regarding the conditions of the war. Both the Poles and Jews were savagely murdered by the Germans. Polish soldiers fought every day of WWII for the freedom and life of all nations."

Last year, Poland passed the controversial law which took effect in March 2018.

The legislation, popularly known as the “Holocaust Law” or “Holocaust Censorship Law”, makes it illegal to use the phrase “Polish death camps”, and bars discussion of Polish collusion or collaboration with the Nazis during their occupation of Poland during the Second World War.

Violators of the law could face up to three years in prison.

The law drew heavy criticism from the Israeli government, with the US State Department also expressing opposition to the bill. Polish opposition parties also criticized the law, and proposed to amend the bill.