Amid a diplomatic row between Israel and Poland over Warsaw’s role in the Holocaust, the Israeli embassy said on Friday it saw a “wave of anti-Semitic statements” in the country.
Poland’s senate on Thursday passed a controversial Holocaust bill that had been meant to defend the country’s image abroad but which instead provoked Israel’s anger and drew concern from the U.S. as well as from various Jewish groups and global institutions like the International Auschwitz Council.
On the backdrop of the approval of the bill by the Polish Senate, Israel has requested the postponement of the planned visit of the head of the Polish National Security Council. pic.twitter.com/7wbrK1TKOQ
— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA) February 1, 2018
The legislation, which still needs the president’s signature to take effect, was introduced by the governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party to stop people from erroneously describing Nazi German death camps as Polish.
Israel, however, has expressed concern that the legislation relating to the extermination of Jews by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II, could serve to deny the involvement of individual Poles in the Holocaust.
“In the last few days we could not help but notice a wave of anti-Semitic statements, reaching the Embassy through all channels of communication. Many of them targeted Ambassador Anna Azari personally,” the embassy said in a statement on its website.
“Anti-Semitic statements are overflowing the internet channels in Poland, but they have become present on the main stream media too, especially on the TVP Info.”
A recent commentator on the state-run TVP station had made the ironic statement that “we could say these camps were neither German nor Polish but Jewish. Because who operated the crematoria? And who died there?”
Another commenter had sent out a tweet using the Polish version of offensive term against Jews, “greedy kike.”
The Israeli embassy did not specifically mention these examples, but they triggered much criticism in Poland.
Joint statement of Poland and Israel published on 22 November 2016, in which both countries expressed an opposition to use a term “Polish death camps”: pic.twitter.com/deDlAbAfuP
— Ministry of Foreign Affairs 🇵🇱 (@PolandMFA) January 28, 2018