Posts Tagged ‘poland’

Swastikas Sprayed on Poland’s Tel Aviv Embassy Day After ‘Jewish Holocaust Perpetrators’ Remark

February 18, 2018

Haaretz

Police investigating graffiti found at entrance to Tel Aviv embassy. On Saturday, Polish PM said Holocaust had Polish perpetrators ‘just as there were Jewish ones’

.Swastikas sprayed on the gate of the Poland's embassy in Tel Aviv, January 18, 2018.
Swastikas sprayed on the gate of the Poland’s embassy in Tel Aviv, January 18, 2018.Israel Police

Swastikas and anti-Polish slogans were found sprayed on Sunday at the entrance to the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv. Israel Police said an investigation has been launched.

The graffiti was sprayed a day after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the Holocaust had Polish perpetrators, just as it had Jewish ones.

Moraweicki made the statement at the Munich Security Conference in response to a question by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman regarding the controversial law that criminalizes mentioning the Polish nation’s complicity in the Holocaust. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sharply rebuked the ‘outrageous’ remarks.

Graffiti sprayed at the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv, January 18, 2018.

Graffiti sprayed at the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv, January 18, 2018.דוברות המשטרה

.Swastikas sprayed on the gate of the Poland's embassy in Tel Aviv, January 18, 2018.

Swastikas sprayed on the gate of the Poland’s embassy in Tel Aviv, January 18, 2018.Israel Police

Israel has vehemently criticized the bill ever since it’s proposal, with Morawiecki recognizing the poor timing of the bill but stressing that “All the atrocities and all the victims, everything that happened during World War II on Polish soil, has to be attributed to Germany.”

The legislation, which was approved by the Polish parliament, had referred the legislation to the Constitutional Tribunal to consider its constitutionality, and added that possible prison sentence and fines “are not really designed to punish anyone.” The law will also be difficult to enforce, he acknowledged, and may be subject to changes required by the country’s constitutional tribunal.

.Graffiti sprayed on the gate of the Poland's embassy in Tel Aviv, January 18, 2018.

Graffiti sprayed on the gate of the Poland’s embassy in Tel Aviv, January 18, 2018.דוברות המשטרה
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Israel: Polish PM’s ‘Jewish perpetrators’ Holocaust remark ‘outrageous’

February 18, 2018

Israeli politicians have accused Poland’s premier of distorting history and anti-Semitism following comments made about “Jewish perpetrators” during World War II. The countries have been at odds over a new Holocaust law.

Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki (Getty Images/AFP/T. Kienzle)

Israeli politicians have lashed out at Poland’s prime minister over comments he made comparing “Polish perpetrators” of the Holocaust to supposed “Jewish perpetrators.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the comments by his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki were “outrageous.”

It’s the latest spat between Poland and Israel over interpretations of history after Warsaw’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) last month passed a law outlawing public statements that falsely and intentionally attribute Nazi crimes to Poland under the German occupation during World War II.

Read more: Echoes of 1968 anti-Semitic campaign haunt Poland 50 years on

Morawiecki was responding to a question from an Israeli journalist, who asked whether Poland would consider him a criminal after he reported that Polish neighbors had betrayed his Jewish family to the Gestapo, Nazi Germany’s secret police.

“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.

He reiterated that the law was passed to make clear “there were no Polish death camps… There were German Nazi death camps.

“But we cannot agree with mixing perpetrators with victims, because it would be first of all an offense to all the Jews and all the Poles who suffered greatly during World War II.”

Read more: Poland’s new ‘Holocaust law’ widely condemned in Israel

‘Lack of understanding, sensitivity’

Netanyahu, who like Morawiecki is at the Munich Security Conference, said he would speak urgently with the Polish premier.

“There is a problem here of lack of understanding of history and lack of sensitivity to the tragedy of our people,” Netanyahu said.

Yair Lapid, head of the centrist opposition Yesh Atid party, said Israel should recall its ambassador over such “anti-Semitism of the oldest kind.”

“The perpetrators are not the victims. The Jewish state will not allow the murdered to be blamed for their own murder,” said Lapid.

Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay accused Morawiecki of trying to rewrite history.

“The blood of millions of Jews cries from the earth of Poland over the distortion of history and the escape from blame. Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and Poles took an active part in their murder,” Gabbay said. “The government of Israel has to be a voice for the millions of murdered and strongly denounce the Polish prime minister’s words.”

cw/cmk (AFP, AP, dpa)

http://www.dw.com/en/israel-polish-pms-jewish-perpetrators-holocaust-remark-outrageous/a-42632414

 

Seeking post-Brexit unity, EU leaders find more fights

February 18, 2018

AFP

© AFP/File / by Danny KEMP | European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was picked after European elections in 2014 by a controversial “Spitzenkandidat” system — German for “lead candidate”

BRUSSELS (AFP) – EU leaders face difficult talks this week on the thorny issues of how to plug holes in the post-Brexit budget and choose a successor for European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.A special one-day summit in Brussels on Friday of the 27 leaders without Britain is meant to be a key step in the roadmap to a leaner and more unified bloc after Britain leaves in just over a year.

But cracks have already appeared between French President Emmanuel Macron, leading the charge for a reformed Europe, and Juncker with his federalist vision of how top EU officials should be chosen in future.

The row means the EU’s attempts to overcome the shock of losing a major member are running into the classic problems that have bedevilled it for its six decades of existence: money and sovereignty.

Juncker was picked after European elections in 2014 by a controversial “Spitzenkandidat” system — German for “lead candidate” — under which the political group with the most votes gets to nominate its candidate for the job.

Both the European Parliament and Juncker back a repeat after the May 2019 European election, saying it gives the public a direct say in who heads the commission, the EU’s powerful executive arm.

– ‘Right and obligation’ –

European Council President Donald Tusk — who coordinates summits and represents the EU member states — is expected to lay out options at the summit, including whether to continue with the Spitzenkandidat system.

Leaders are expected to say it is their own “right and obligation” to choose the commission chief, while “taking into account” the views of parliament, as the EU treaties state, an EU source told AFP.

Many national leaders are bitterly opposed to the Spitzenkandidat process, saying it sidelines democratically elected heads of government in favour of a backroom deal by Brussels-based political parties, and also makes the job of commission chief too political.

Macron this week slammed the Brussels establishment as ideologically incoherent and called for a “political revamp” to give the commission a clear mandate, defined by the national leaders.

Juncker however said earlier this week that the Spitzenkandidat system was “completely logical”. He also called for the commission chief’s job to be merged with Tusk’s.

The row has become particularly fierce after the European Parliament earlier this month dealt Macron a slap by voting against “transnational lists” — which would allow 30 of the 73 seats vacated by Britain to be elected on pan-European tickets, instead of directly to constituencies.

“Why should we have Spitzenkandidaten if we have no transnational list for elections?!” Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel tweeted.

– Fixing a hole –

Filling the hole that Brexit leaves in the EU’s multi-year budget from 2020 threatens to open up even deeper divisions — but this time between member states themselves.

Tusk will ask the leaders at the summit whether they want to increase the budget, decrease it or keep it the same, sources said.

EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has said that Britain’s exit could leave a hole of as much as between 12 and 15 billion euros ($15-19 billion) and suggested that contributions be increased to between 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent of GDP from the current level of one percent of GDP in the 2014-2020 budget.

The Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Sweden and Finland, all net contributors, are said to be against that idea.

Warnings by Oettinger of cuts on agriculture — a bugbear for France — and “cohesion funds” that benefit poorer eastern European states are also likely to go down badly.

But there is little appetite for suggestions that the EU could try to bring countries like Poland and Hungary into line on issues including the rule of law and migration by making cohesion funds “conditional” on good behaviour.

With these tensions in the background it is no surprise that the EU has been stressing the need for unity in Brexit talks with Britain.

Tusk is expected to ask leaders on Friday if they want to push ahead next month with issuing negotiating red lines on a post-Brexit future relationship with Britain.

Uncertainty over Britain’s wishes, and difficulties in negotiations on a post-Brexit transition period, could push that back.

by Danny KEMP

Polish PM draws ire with claim of Jewish Holocaust ‘perpetrators’

February 17, 2018

AFP

© AFP/File | A new law in Poland sets a maximum three-year jail term for anyone who describes Nazi German death camps, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, as being Polish
MUNICH (GERMANY) (AFP) – Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki sparked a storm of criticism Saturday after defending his country’s new law concerning the Holocaust, which he said had involved “Jewish perpetrators” as well as Polish.The controversial law passed by Poland’s senate this month 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”.

Appearing at the Munich Security Conference, Morawiecki was questioned by a journalist who told of his mother’s narrow escape from the Gestapo in Poland after learning that neighbours were planning to denounce them.

Image may contain: 1 person

 Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki gives a speech during the Munich Security Conference on February 17, 2018 in Munich, southern Germany. (AFP PHOTO)

The journalist, Ronen Bergman, asked if by recounting this, “I am a criminal in your country?” — garnering a round of applause from the audience.

Morawiecki responded: “It’s not going to punishable, not going to be seen as criminal, to say that there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukraine and German perpetrators.”

He reiterated that the point of the law was to defend Poland’s honour by making clear that people knew “there were no Polish death camps… There were German Nazi death camps.”

“But we cannot agree with mixing perpetrators with victims, because it would be first of all an offence to all the Jews and all the Poles who suffered greatly during the Second World War.”

Several attendees later took to Twitter to assail the remarks.

Bergman himself tweeted that the Polish premier’s answer was “unbelievable”.

Francois Heisbourg, a London-based diplomacy expert, called the reference to “‘Polish perpetrators like there were Jewish perpetrators'” a “shameful response”.

Noa Landau, a correspondent for the Israeli daily Haaretz, denounced an “outrageous scene”, noting the audience’s silence after Morawiecki’s comments.

Poland’s Premier: There Were Polish Perpetrators in the Holocaust Just as There Were Jewish Ones

February 17, 2018

Haaretz

Answering a question from an Israeli journalist regarding the controversial Holocaust bill, Mateusz Morawiecki reiterated that the Polish people aided their Jewish brothers and sisters

.Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in the Munich Security Conference, February 17, 2018
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in the Munich Security Conference, February 17, 2018THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP

MUNICH – Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Saturday that the Holocaust had Polish perpetrators, just as it had Jewish ones.

This was said while answering a question during a discussion in the Security Conference in Munich by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman regarding the controversial Holocaust bill that criminalizes mention of Poland’s complicity in the Holocaust.

Bergman told of his mother’s past as a Holocaust survivor and concluded by asking, ‘If I told her story in Poland, I would be considered a criminal. What are you trying to do? You’re drawing more fire to the matter.” The crowd applauded following the question.

The Polish PM said that according to the amended law, those who claim that there were polish perpetrators in the Holocaust would not be punished, since there were polish perpetrators, “just as there were Jewish and Russian perpetrators, as well.”

He reiterated his government’s policy that there were no Polish death camps, as Poland was under German occupation and thus the correct term should be German death camps and that the Polish people aided “their Jewish brothers and sisters” in the Holocaust. You must not confuse the perpetrators with the victims of the Holocaust, he said.

MK Tzipi Livni commented from the Security Conference in Munich, saying “it is hard to believe the Polish Prime Minister’s answer, and his intolerable comparison between the Polish and the Jews, between the victims and those who actively took part in the killings.”

Livni added it was moving to hear Bergman attack the Polish PM regarding the Holocaust bill whilst telling his mother’s survival story.

Israel has vehemently criticized the bill ever since it’s proposal, with Morawiecki recognizing the poor timing of the bill, but stressing that “All the atrocities and all the victims, everything that happened during World War II on Polish soil, has to be attributed to Germany,” Morawiecki said. “We will never be accused of complicity in the Holocaust. This is our ‘to be or not to be.'”

The legislation, which was approved by the Polish parliament, had referred the legislation to the Constitutional Tribunal to consider its constitutionality, and added that possible prison sentence and fines “are not really designed to punish anyone.” The law will also be difficult to enforce, he acknowledged, and may be subject to changes required by the country’s constitutional tribunal.

Regardless, until it’s tribunal discussion, the law will be in effect as of next week.

Russia deploys nuclear-capable missile system in Kaliningrad

February 7, 2018

The Kremlin has stressed it has the sovereign right to deploy missiles on its own territory after reports Russia deployed the Iskander nuclear-capable missile system in Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea.

Loading a quasi ballistic missile into an Iskander-M missile launcher during a military exercise held by missile and artillery units of the Russian Eastern Military District's 5th army at a firing range in Ussuriysk.

Russia said on Tuesday that it had the right to put weapons anywhere it chose on its own territory after reports that Moscow had deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad drew criticism from its neighbors and NATO.

Kaliningrad is a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea, and the missiles would be able to reach large parts of territory in NATO-members Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The president of Lithuania, which neighbors Kaliningrad, and a senior Russian lawmaker, both said the missile systems had been deployed to the region. Russia has not confirmed the deployment.

Read more: Russia mulls boosting missile capabilities on NATO border

While on a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked about the reports. “The deployment of one weapon or another, the deployment of military units and so forth on Russian territory, is exclusively a sovereign issue for the Russian Federation,” said Peskov. “Russia has never threatened anyone and is not threatening anyone. Naturally, Russia has this sovereign right. It should hardly be cause for anyone to worry.”

Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry on deployment of Iskander missile system in Russia’s Kaliningrad region: Russia has never threatened anyone, and I would like to remind that Russia naturally has the sovereign right to deploy hardware and military units on the Russian territory

Read more: Escalation threat high as US-Russia INF anti-missile treaty falters

NATO concern over missiles

In Latvia, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said that developments in Kaliningrad fresh impetus to discussions already underway inside NATO about improving the alliance’s capabilities.

“It means that what we have been talking about — the necessity to discuss strengthening air defense elements during the NATO summit in July; strengthening the chain of command, to talk about many questions that affect defense of our region and Latvia specifically — it all has been confirmed by the practical actions of Russia,” said Rinkevics.

The alleged placement of Iskander missiles so close to NATO territory are perceived by some alliance members as a threat at a time when tensions between Russia and its Western neighbors are running high over Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

“This again makes the situation even more serious because Iskanders in Kaliningrad means dangers for half of European capitals,” said Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite on Monday.

Read more: Russia slams new US nuclear weapons proposal

The Kremlin has often said it would station Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad to counter the US missile shield being developed in eastern Europe. Washington says the purpose of that shield is designed to counter possible missile attacks by Iran. However, Moscow says it is directed against Russia.

A NATO official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Any deployment close to our borders of missiles that can carry nuclear warheads does not help to lower tensions. In the spirit of transparency, we look forward to hearing more from Russia on this.”

av/aw (Reuters, Interfax, ap)

 http://www.dw.com/en/russia-deploys-nuclear-capable-missile-system-in-kaliningrad-reports/a-42474925
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Russia defends right to deploy missiles after Kaliningrad rebuke

February 6, 2018

Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Tuesday it had the right to put weapons anywhere it chose on its own territory, after reports that Moscow had deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad drew criticism from its neighbors and NATO.

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

Russian mobile Iskander launcher

From Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea, the missiles would be able to reach large swathes of territory in NATO-members Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The president of Lithuania, which neighbors Kaliningrad, and a senior Russian lawmaker, both said the missile systems had been deployed to the region. Russia has not confirmed the deployment.

Asked about reports of the deployment on a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: ”The deployment of one weapon or another, the deployment of military units and so forth on Russian territory, is exclusively a sovereign issue for the Russian Federation.

“Russia has never threatened anyone and is not threatening anyone. Naturally, Russia has this sovereign right (to deploy weapons on its own territory). It should hardly be cause for anyone to worry.”

The Baltic states are already within range of longer-range Russian missiles. But reports of the Kaliningrad deployment so close to NATO territory are perceived by some alliance members as a threat at a time when tensions between Russia and its Western neighbors are running high over Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula.

“This again makes the situation even more serious because Iskanders in Kaliningrad means dangers for half of European capitals,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said on Monday.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said the deployment added fresh impetus to discussions already underway inside NATO about improving the alliance’s capabilities.

“It means that what we have been talking about – the necessity to discuss strengthening air-defense elements during the NATO summit in July; strengthening the chain of command, to talk about many questions that affect defense of our region and Latvia specifically … – it all has been confirmed by the practical actions of Russia,” the minister said.

The Kremlin has often said it would place Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad as a riposte to a U.S. missile shield being developed in eastern Europe. Washington says that shield is designed to counter possible missile attacks by Iran, but Moscow says it is directed against Russia.

A NATO official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: ”Any deployment close to our borders of missiles that can carry nuclear warheads does not help to lower tensions. In the spirit of transparency, we look forward to hearing more from Russia on this.

“It is important to determine the exact situation. NATO is alert, we understand the capability, but we also understand that the Russians have been moving equipment in and out of Kaliningrad for a long time.”

Additional reporting by Robin Emmott in BRUSSELS, Gelzis Gederts in RIGA, David Mardiste in TALLINN and Eugenijus Kryzanovskis in VILNIUS; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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Israel ‘Adamantly Opposes’ Polish Parliament’s Approval of Controversial Holocaust Bill

February 1, 2018

Haaretz

Minister demands Netanyahu recall ambassador ■ Yad Vashem criticizes bill that criminalizes accusing the Polish people of complicity in Nazi crimes

.Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks at a commemoration event at Auschwitz II-Birkenau, during the ceremonies marking International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day, near Oswiecim, Poland, January 27, 2018.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks at a commemoration event at Auschwitz II-Birkenau, during the ceremonies marking International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day, near Oswiecim, Poland,\ KACPER PEMPEL/ REUTERS

Israel said on Thursday it “adamantly opposes” a bill that was passed by the Polish Senate overnight, which would criminalize accusing the Polish nation of complicity in Nazi crimes. Israeli officials criticized Poland, with some demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recall the ambassador to Poland over the legislation.

“Israel views with utmost gravity any attempt to challenge historical truth,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said. “No law will change the facts.”

The bill, now pending the approval of President Andrzej Duda, passed a Senate vote overnight despite assurances that dialogue on the legislation would be held with Israel before a vote takes place.

>> The Polish were once victims of historical whitewashing. Now they are doing the same | Analysis

An Israeli official expressed “deep disappointment given the fact that the relationship between the two countries is important to both sides.” He added that “the law’s passage goes against the spirit of the conversation between the two prime ministers [last] Sunday.”

Earlier, Likud Minister Yisrael Katz demanded Netanyahu recall Israel’s ambassador to Poland over the bill. Minister Yoav Gallant said the bill amounts to Holocaust denial, with lawmaker and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni describing it as “spitting in Israel’s face.”

“The [draft] law passed by the Poles is serious and constitutes a denial of responsibility and of Poland’s role in the Jewish Holocaust,” Katz said after Polish lawmakers backed the bill. “In the balance between political and moral considerations, a clear decision must be taken – commemorating the victims of the Holocaust over any other consideration.”

Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Galant tweeted against the bill, saying “The bill that passed tonight by the Senate in Poland is Holocaust denial. The memory of six million is stronger than any law. We will internalize their memory and remember the lesson- that we must defend ourselves by our own strength.”

MK Zipi Livni (Zionist Union) said the approval of the law is “unacceptable and spitting in the face of Israel twice, both as the nation of the Jewish people and also against the prime minister who announced he had reached agreements with the Poles – if there were such [understandings].

“Israel needs to respond firmly, to immediately and openly put on the agenda the documentation of the crimes by Poles during the Holocaust and to send a clear message: We won’t allow them to cause the past to be forgotten.”

>> Death camps weren’t ‘Polish’ – but Poles were bad enough to Jews without them, Holocaust historian says

The Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center in Jerusalem harshly criticized the bill. “It is very disappointing that Poland chose, despite the difficulties with the present wording [of the law] and the harsh protests, to approve the problematic law that could well cause a distortion of the historical truth because of the limitations it places on various expressions concerning the cooperation of parts of the Polish population – directly and indirectly – with the crimes committed on their land during the period of the Holocaust.”

Yad Vashem says it differentiates between the ban on using phrases such as “Polish death camps” – which it also agrees is incorrect –  and “other elements” of the law, which include sections that ban speaking about the part of the “Polish people” in the Nazi crimes or crimes against humanity.

These sections of the law “endanger the free and candid discussion of the part of members of the Polish people in the persecution of Jews during the [Holocaust] period,” said Yad Vashem.

“Yad Vashem will continue to support research that endeavors to uncover the complex truth about the relationship of the Polish population to the Jews during the period of the Holocaust and will promote activities for education and commemoration in this spirit.”

Poland’s PAP news agency reported 57 senators voted for the draft bill, with 23 against and two abstentions.

“We have to send a clear signal to the world that we won’t allow for Poland to continue being insulted,” Patryk Jaki, a deputy justice minister, told reporters in parliament.

The legislation, which bans any claims that the Polish people or Polish state were responsible or complicit in the Nazis’ crimes, also bans minimizing the responsibility of “the real perpetrators” for these crimes.

Media reports of the lower house’s passage of the bill last Friday created a political, public and media storm in Israel. Israeli officials took several steps in response, including a telephone call between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki.

Poland set to vote on Holocaust bill despite agreeing with Israel to hold off — “Nazi death camps should be called Jewish.”

January 31, 2018

Polish Senate adds controversial legislation to Wednesday’s agenda, as Jerusalem continues to raise concerns

Times of Israel
January 31, 2018

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Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland speaks in Budapest on January 26, 2018 (AFP/Attila KISBENEDEK)

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland speaks in Budapest on January 26, 2018 (AFP/Attila KISBENEDEK)

The Polish Senate said it would vote Wednesday on a controversial Holocaust bill, despite assurances from the country’s prime minister that Israeli concerns would be addressed before steps were taken to pass it into law.

The Polish Senate confirmed in a post to its official Twitter account that the bill, which criminalizes the blaming of Poles for Nazi atrocities committed on Polish soil during the Holocaust, was on the agenda.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, Sunday night, as the two attempted to set aside a diplomatic spat over the legislation.

Netanyahu has pilloried the law — which prescribes prison time for referring to “Polish death camps” and forbids any mention of Polish complicity in Nazi crimes — as “distortion of the truth, the rewriting of history and the denial of the Holocaust.”

zebrał się na 55. posiedzeniu. Marszałek zapowiedział, że porządek obrad zostanie uzupełniony o nowelizację ustawy o . rozpatrzą także projekt zmian w regulaminie znoszący tajne http://m.in . w sprawach personalnych.

Netanyahu and Morawiecki “agreed to immediately open a dialogue between staffs of the two countries, in order to try and reach an understanding over the legislation,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office read on Sunday.

The bill, passed by the lower house of the Polish parliament last week, still needs approval from Poland’s Senate and the country’s president, Andrzej Duda.

Duda on Sunday sought to defuse the crisis by promising “a careful analysis of the final shape of the act” focused on provisions that have alarmed Israel.

However, the next day Duda told public broadcaster TVP that he was “flabbergasted” by Israel’s “violent and very unfavorable reaction” to the bill.

“We absolutely can’t back down, we have the right to defend the historical truth,” he said.

Polish President Andrzej Duda at the presidential palace, Warsaw, Poland, April 10, 2016. (Mateusz Wlodarczyk/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images/JTA)

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party says the law is meant to fight expressions like “Polish death camps” to refer to the wartime camps that Nazi Germany operated in occupied Poland, but its provisions are wider, criminalizing talk of Polish complicity in the Holocaust.

Poles were among those imprisoned, tortured and killed in the camps, and many today feel that Poles are being unfairly depicted as perpetrators of the Holocaust.

Germany occupied Poland in 1939, annexing part of it to Germany and directly governing the rest. Unlike other countries occupied by Germany at the time, there was no collaborationist government in Poland. The prewar Polish government and military fled into exile, except for an underground resistance army that fought the Nazis inside the country.

The infamous German inscription that reads ‘Work Makes Free’ at the main gate of the Auschwitz I extermination camp on November 15, 2014 in Oswiecim, Poland. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images via JTA)

However, there were many cases of Poles killing Jews or denouncing them to the Germans, with deadly anti-Semitic pogroms continuing during and in one case even after World War II.

The Israeli government in the past has supported the campaign against the phrase “Polish death camps,” but it has strongly criticized the new legislation.

Israel, along with several international 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.

On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said it was increasingly concerned about a spate of anti-Semitic expressions in Polish media amid the disagreement between the two governments.

“The Foreign Ministry is monitoring with concern the rising anti-Semitic feelings expressed through the Polish media and we are considering making an appeal via our embassy in Warsaw,” the ministry said.

In one instance, the head of a state-run channel suggested referring to Auschwitz as a “Jewish death camp,” in response to an outcry over use of the term “Polish death camp” to describe the Nazi killing site in German-occupied Poland.

The director of the state-run television station TVP 2, Marcin Wolski, said Monday on air that the Nazi death camps should be called Jewish. “Who managed the crematoria there?” he asked — a reference to the fact that death camp prisoners, usually Jews, were forced to help dispose of gas chamber victims.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/poland-set-to-vote-on-holocaust-bill-despite-agreeing-with-israel-to-hold-off/

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Netanyahu Meets Putin on Iran: Holocaust Teaches Us to ‘Stand Up to Murderous Ideologies’

January 29, 2018

Haaretz

Netanyahu accompanies Putin to a new exhibit on the Sobibor death camp in the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow

.Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre in Moscow on January 29, 2018
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre in Moscow on January 29, 2018 ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin are meeting in Moscow to discuss Iran’s meddling in Syria and Lebanon.

As they headed into their meeting Netanyahu said: “I think that the main lesson of the rise of the Nazis and then the defeat of the Nazis is that we have to face murderous ideologies in time and with power.”

“This is our mission today as well,” Netanyahu said, noting that their meetng was to focus on the countries’ “joint efforts to promote security and stability in our region, and of course our mutual cooperation between Russia and Israel.”

The two leaders were meeting at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, where together they toured a new exhibit on the Sobibor death camp.

Netanyahu is expected to raise Israel’s right to operate to prevent the smuggling of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syrian territory.

. Russian President Vladimir Putin accompanied by Alexander Boroda, head of the Russian Federation of Jewish Communities and the museum?s director, businessmen Viktor Vekselberg and Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, looks at the stone of the memorial to members of the resistance at Nazis concentration camps during World War Two, at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre as part of the International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day, in Moscow, Russia January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow with the museum director and Jewish community members. \ MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS

Before Netanyahu flew for the lightning five-hour visit to meet Putin Monday, he said such coordination was essential to stymie Iranian attempts to solidify their forces on the ground there.

“This is something we are adamantly opposed to and are working to stop,” Netanyahu said in comments just before flying to Moscow.

Netanyahu said he and Putin will also be talking about Iranian inroads in Lebanon, Israel’s northern neighbor. He said Iran was trying “to turn Lebanon into one big missile site, a site for manufacturing precision missiles against the State of Israel. This is something we are not prepared to tolerate.”

Netanyhahu was accompanied by Minister Zeev Elkin, a member of the security cabinet who is considered to have close ties with Russian officials, as well as National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and outgoing Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi.

The meeting, which was set up earlier this month during a telephone conversation in which the two leaders exchanged New Year’s greetings, also dealt with U.S. President Donald Trump’s ultimatum to Europe on amending the nuclear deal with Iran.

On the issue of Iran’s growing presence in both Syria and Lebanon, Israel’s main goal is to maintain its freedom of action in both countries’ airspace.

Israeli officials have said they retain the right to operate to prevent the smuggling of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syrian territory.

The Israeli delegation will also seek to understand how Russia envisions its future involvement in the region and to gauge how strongly it opposes the American effort to reopen the nuclear deal.

Specifically, although Israel has assumed the Russians would oppose any changes in the agreement, Netanyahu has been keen to find out how willing they are to put themselves on the line over this issue.

Netanyahu’s visit with Putin to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center’s new exhibit of the Sobibor death camp had symoblic resonance after a diplomatic crisis erupted between Israel and Russia after Poland decided not to include Russia in a project to build a museum and memorial to the camp’s victims in which Israel was included.

The Nazis closed Sobibor following an uprising led by Alexander Pechersky, a Jewish officer in the Soviets’ Red Army, and Russia was angry at Israel over its exclusion from the project even though Israel made clear that it had no objection to Russian participation.

Netanyahu’s visit to the Jewish Museum was meant to ease this crisis. But it is also a way for Russia to poke Poland in the eye, just after Poland’s parliament infuriated Israel by passing a law which is widely seen as suppressing discussion of the role Poles played in the Holocaust.

Last month, Putin made a surprise visit to a military base in Syria and met with Syrian President Bashar Assad there. The Kremlin said at the time that “Russia gave the broadest military backing to the government in Syria, our longtime ally, in the country’s civil war.” According to that announcement, Putin said once again that Russia would withdraw its troops from the country, but would leave limited forces at the Hemeimeem air force base, near Latakiya, as well as at the naval base in Tartus. The Russian president also said that if terrorism in Syria “raises its head,” Russia will strike back at the terrorists with full force.

In a speech to the soldiers, after announcing the withdrawal of troops, Putin said: “Friends, the homeland awaits you.” Russian television footage shows Putin getting off the plane at the military base and shaking hands with Assad. According to Russian media reports, Assad thanked Putin for his soldiers’ contribution to the fighting in Syria.

About three weeks earlier, Assad visited Russia. According to the Kremlin’s announcement at the time, the leaders agreed that the focus of efforts in Syria were changing from a military operation to “eradicate terror,” to the search for a political solution. “We have a long way to go before we declare a complete victory over the terrorists, but the military operation is indeed in its final stages,” Putin said, after the meeting in Sochi, on the Black Sea. “I think the most important thing now, of course, is political questions.”

Shortly after his meeting with Assad in Russia, Putin held a summit on the issue of Syria with Iranian President Hassan Rohani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At the meeting, Rohani said that the foreign involvement in Syria should be ended but that any foreign presence in the country would be acceptable on condition the foreigners were invited by the Syrian government. Rohani did not mention specific countries. He added that the last terror cells in Syria must be uprooted and that conditions are ripe for a political settlement.