Published: Mon, February 19, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Polish Embassy In Israel Vandalized With Swastikas As Shoah Law Fallout Grows

Polish Embassy In Israel Vandalized With Swastikas As Shoah Law Fallout Grows

"Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out that the goal of the Holocaust was to destroy the Jewish people and that all Jews were under sentence of death", the Israeli statement said.

Less than a day after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki claimed that "there were Jewish perpetrators" in the Holocaust, the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv was vandalized with deformed swastikas and anti-Polish slurs.

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today spoke by telephone with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki", a statement said.

The Israeli lawmaker's indignation was shared by Pinchas Goldschmidt, spiritual leader of the Moscow Choral Synagogue and head of the rabbinical court in the Commonwealth of Independent States, who told RT that the Polish prime minister's remarks were "words which undermine".

Morawiecki has "repeatedly and categorically" rejected anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, his office said, adding that Warsaw "wants to continue dialogue with Israel in the spirit of truth and mutual trust".

The journalist, Ronen Bergman, confronted Morawiecki with his personal story of a Jewish ancestor who was reported by Polish neighbors to the Nazi Gestapo.

Morawiecki also paid his respects Saturday at the Munich grave of fighters from a Polish underground military unit, known as the Holy Cross Mountains Brigade, that collaborated during the war with Poland's Nazi German occupiers.

The comments "were by no means intended to deny the Holocaust, or charge the Jewish victims of the Holocaust with responsibility for what was a Nazi German perpetrated genocide", the Polish government spokeswoman said in a statement on Sunday.

It was just the latest fallout from the Polish Holocaust speech law that has drawn outrage in Israel and elsewhere.

On Saturday the Polish prime minister, attending the Munich Security Conference, was asked by an Israeli journalist whether the reporter himself could fall foul of the law.

In recent weeks, Israeli officials have sharply criticized the legislation that criminalizes blaming Poland as a nation for crimes committed by Nazi Germany. "In light of the continuing crisis in this matter with the Polish government, I intend to convene an urgent meeting with the relevant parties at the Foreign Ministry", Hotovely said.

Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust overall. But research published since the fall of communism in 1989 showed that thousands also killed Jews or denounced those who hid them to the Nazi occupiers, challenging the national narrative that Poland was exclusively a victim.

The unit, which was rooted in a far-right prewar political movement, had also fought Germans.

It says that "whoever accuses, publicly and against the facts, the Polish nation, or the Polish state, of being responsible or complicit in the Nazi crimes committed by the Third German Reich... shall be subject to a fine or a penalty of imprisonment of up to three years".

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