The tensions over Poland’s new legislation forbidding any mention of the Poles’ complicity in the crimes against Jews during the World War II are growing with Israeli politicians blasting Poland for attempts to distort the truth.
Israel’s Minister of Intelligence and Transportation Israel Katz has urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recall the envoy to Tel Aviv for consultations amid controversy over the draft law.
“The law passed by the Polish government is severe and constitutes a brushing off its own responsibility and a denial of Poland’s part in the Holocaust against the Jews,” he said of the new Polish legislation that was passed by the Senate on Thursday.
The bill stipulates fines or jail terms of up to 3 years for any suggestion that the Poles collaborated with the Nazis. The bill, for example, forbids the use of the term the “Polish death camp,” that cast a shadow on the Polish nation, according to authors of the legislation.
The legislation that is yet to be signed into law by the Polish president has caused an uproar in Israel. Officials on all sides of the political spectrum have accused Warsaw of attempts to deny Holocaust and “whitewash” Poles.
“The memory of six million (Jews murdered in the Holocaust) is stronger than any law,” Construction Minister Yoav Gallan said in a tweet.
“History will judge Poland twice — for its role (in the Holocaust) and its despicable attempt at denial,” Itzik Shmuli, an opposition member of parliament said, adding that Poland is the first state to institutionalize the Holocaust denial.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has also lashed out at the bill that the Polish Senate passed on Thursday, saying it opposes the controversial legislation and perceives it “with utmost gravity any attempt to challenge historical truth.”
The statement also reads that “no law will change the facts.”
Over six million Jews died during the Holocaust during WWII. Several major concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Treblinka, were located in Poland after the country was invaded the Third Reich in 1939.
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