Israeli chief says he expects Polish WWII invoice to be mounted

Donald Trump during the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museums National Days of Remembrance ceremony

Donald Trump during the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museums National Days of Remembrance ceremony

The bill would make the use of terms such as "Polish death camps" to refer to the Nazi concentration camps in Poland punishable by up to three years in prison.

Many Poles fear such phrasing makes some people incorrectly conclude that Poles had a role in running the camps. The new legislation does not limit scientific research and the freedom of speech, but tackles deliberate distortion of history, the institute said. It is expected to be passed by the Senate before being signed into law by the president.

Netanyahu's government generally has had good relations with Poland, which has been recently voting with Israel in worldwide organizations.

Israel's president, Reuven Rivlin, recalled a statement Poland's then-President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, who in 2000 told the Israeli parliament that "one cannot fake history, one cannot rewrite it, one cannot hide the truth".

Poles have long objected to phrases such as "Polish death camps", which suggest Poland was responsible for the genocide. That decision recognised how important it is to remember the Holocaust.

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Since coming to power in 2015, Poland's governing nationalists have sought to revive patriotism through a historical policy that centres around extolling Polish heroic deeds in the face of Nazi Germany, the communist regime, Ukrainian nationalists or the Red Army. "Every crime, every offence must be condemned, denounced, must be examined and exposed". "They must be examined and revealed".

But the Israeli government read one of the bill's passages as an attempt to deny Polish participation in Nazi Germany's extermination of Jews and feared that it would open the door to prosecuting any Holocaust survivors who mention that involvement.

But PiS spokeswoman Beata Mazurek was less conciliatory, writing on Twitter: "We won't be changing any of the provisions of the law". The proposed legislation has sparked an outcry in Israel.

"We criminalize statements such as "Polish death camps" in cases where all death camps on Polish soil were German and even [the] German Ambassador in Poland affirms it. I don't need Holocaust education from you", responded Lapid.

That campaign has been largely successful, and Polish embassies around the world launch immediate protests when such comments appear in the foreign press.

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To which the embassy retorted: "Shameless".

The Israeli Foreign Ministry on Sunday said it had summoned Poland's deputy ambassador to express Israel's opposition to the legislation.

For decades, Polish society tried to avoid discussing the killing of Jews by civilians, with atrocities usually blamed on the Nazis.

Those who dwell on that uncomfortable past like Jan Tomasz Gross, a Polish-American historian who wrote about the 1941 Jedwabne pogrom in which Polish villagers killed their Jewish neighbors, are often criticized in Poland. In 2016, he was summonedto appear before police for saying that Poles killed more Jews than they did Germans during the Holocaust.

But thousands of other Poles sheltered Jews despite the fact they and their entire families faced execution by Nazi soldiers if they were caught doing that. Morawiecki tweeted a reminder that Poland and Israel had jointly agreed to combat "mistaken terms like 'Polish death camps'".

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"Restrictions on statements by scholars and others regarding the Polish people's direct or indirect complicity with the crimes committed on their land during the Holocaust are a serious distortion", it said.

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