POLAND’S PROPOSED HOLOCAUST LAW CAUSED REACTION IN ISRAEL




Şimal Çınar –TDO- Poland, a country that was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War Two and three million of its Jewish citizens were killed, proposed a legislation, which still needs approval to become a law, forbids any mention of participation of the Polish nation in crimes committed by Nazi Germany, particularly the use of phrases like "Polish death camps" and prescribes up to three years in prison for attempts to link the Polish people with Nazis' crimes. Poland claims that the bill will not limit freedom to research or speak about the Holocaust. The Prime Minister of Poland stated on Saturday that “Jews, Poles, and all victims should be guardians of the memory of all who were murdered by German Nazis. Auschwitz-Birkenau is not a Polish name, and ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ is not a Polish phrase.”

However, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Holocaust survivors on Sunday opposed to this draft and Netanyahu said “We will under no circumstances accept any attempt to rewrite history.” Even though Israel's Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennet acknowledged that phrases such as "Polish camps" were misrepresentative, stated "It is a historic fact that many Poles aided in the murder of Jews, handed them in, abused them, and even killed Jews during and after the Holocaust." Upon these incidents Netanyahu talked by phone to the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki later that day and reported that they “had agreed to open immediate dialogue between teams from both countries to try to reach understandings on the legislation.”