Polish PM draws ire with claim of Jewish Holocaust 'perpetrators'

The Prime Minister of Poland, Khmelnytsky compared with Hitler

"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.

"Of course it would not be punishable or criminal if you say there were Polish perpetrators, just like there were Jewish perpetrators, like there were Russian perpetrators, like there were Ukrainians, not just German perpetrators", Morawiecki replied.

"It is impossible to accept such provocative comparisons", she said Saturday evening.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has strongly condemned the statement of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who said that the Jewish people were "perpetrators" in World War II amid the bilateral row over the so-called Holocaust bill. Bregman spoke of his mother, a Holocaust survivor born in Poland, and asked the prime minister whether the fact that he would talk about this subject would lead to him facing criminal charges.

Yair Lapid, head of the centrist opposition Yesh Atid party, said Israel should recall its ambassador over such "anti-Semitism of the oldest kind". He wanted to make it clear that anyone who claimed that there were Polish extermination camps would not be punished. "The blood of millions of Jews cries out from the ground in Poland over the distortion of history and escape from blame", tweeted party leader Avi Gabbay. Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and Poles took an active part in their murder.

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The letter, posted recently on the Senate's website and reported by German media Thursday, is linked to a controversial new law that penalizes publicly and falsely attributing the crimes of Nazi Germany to the Polish nation.

Bergman himself tweeted that the Polish premier's answer was "unbelievable".

The law sets fines or a maximum three-year jail term for anyone ascribing "responsibility or co-responsibility to the Polish nation or state for crimes committed by the German Third Reich". "The government of Israel must be here for the millions of those murdered and condemn the words of the Polish prime minister harshly".

The dispute has elicited bitter recriminations on both sides.

Israel, along with several global Holocaust organizations and many critics in Poland, argues that the law could have a chilling effect on debating history, harming freedom of expression and leading to a whitewashing of Poland's wartime history.



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