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Relations between Israel and Poland Continue to Nosedive

Relations between Israel and Poland began a downward spiral when, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Polish parliament passed a bill criminalizing any reference to expressions such as “Polish death camps” and other phrases relevant to the Holocaust. For Poland, the legislation was an attempt to codify its contention that all of the evils brought on by Nazi Germany in Poland were beyond the control of the Poles. But for Israeli officials, it was an exercise intended to re-write history. When the Netanyahu government vehemently protested the legislation and demanded changes, its requests were met with Polish rancor. Ironically, in a nation where multi-partisan actions are rare, the issue has united political parties across the political spectrum. But Poland is fighting back. Polish participation at The International Mediterranean Tourism Market Expo taking place in Tel Aviv this week has been cancelled and Warsaw has cancelled next week’s visit to Poland by Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett after the minister said he would be taking up the issue with his hosts.