Polish delegation in Israel to discuss controversial Holocaust bill

“The purpose of the dialogue is the preservation of the historical truth and to forestall any detrimental impact on freedoms of research and expression,” stated an Israeli representative.

By: World Israel News Staff

A high-level Polish governmental delegation arrived in Israel on Wednesday to participate in a dialogue with their Israeli counterparts, following passage of a new and controversial Polish law that criminalizes attribution of Holocaust-era crimes to Poles.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated Tuesday that following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conversation with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the delegation, led by Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Bartosz Cichocki, was directed to fly to Israel to discuss the matter.

The Israeli delegation will be headed by the Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yuval Rotem.

The Israeli delegation will be comprised of diplomats, historians, attorneys and personnel from Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem-based Holocaust Remembrance Center.

“The purpose of the dialogue is the preservation of the historical truth and to forestall any detrimental impact on freedoms of research and expression,” the ministry stated.

The recently ratified Polish bill, which criminalizes the use of the term “Polish Holocaust,” has angered Israel, which views the law as an attempt to whitewash the actions of Poles who murdered Jews or collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust.

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Several other countries have expressed opposition to the bill.

Poland’s Holocaust law, which took affect on Wednesday, has already triggered rising anti-Semitism in Poland. In reaction to criticism from Holocaust historians and others, the government said the law will be reviewed by Poland’s constitutional court.

Princeton University Professor Jan Tomasz Gross, an expert on Polish complicity in the Holocaust, previously stated that Poland’s new stance dissociating itself from the Holocaust is “a step back to the dark ages of anti-Semitism.”

Gross said in 2015 that Poles killed more Jews than Germans during the war. Though the exact numbers are difficult to measure, Gross said evidence indicates that Poles killed up to 30,000 Germans during the war, at most, while they probably killed 70,000 to 90,000 Jews, but possibly more.