Israel – Poland crisis: Polish Prime Minister cancels visit to Israel

The statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who accused “some Poles of having cooperated with the Nazis during the Holocaust”, has led to a crisis between Israel and Poland.

In response to this statement, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called Netanyahu to tell him that he would not participate in the meeting of the Višegrad group, which also includes the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

During a report he gave in Warsaw, where he went to take part in the conference on Supporting the Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East, held on 13-14 February, Netanyahu said that some Poles had cooperated with the Nazis. This statement was echoed by the Jerusalem Post in the following form: “The Polish people cooperated with the Nazis”.

Tension then increased between the two countries. Polish President Andrzej Duda said via his Twitter account that if it turns out that Netanyahu had made such remarks, the Visegrád Group summit with Israel would thus be moved from Jerusalem to Wisła, in southern Poland. In this sense, he considered that Israel was not, in such circumstances, the appropriate place for this summit scheduled for next week.

In addition, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted by summoning Israel’s ambassador in Warsaw, Anna Azari, to express the dissatisfaction of Polish officials.

Following the escalation of tension, the press office of the Israeli Prime Ministry stated in a statement that Netanyahu had referred to “some Poles” and not “the Polish people”.

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