Polish PM cancels trip to Israel after Netanyahu's Holocaust remarks

Poland pulls out of Israel summit in row over WW2 roleMore

Poland pulls out of Israel summit in row over WW2 roleMore

In the statement, the office stressed that Netanyahu, who attended a USA -sponsored Middle East conference in Warsaw, had not cast any blanket blame in the question of Polish collaboration with Nazi occupiers and had been simply misquoted by the newspaper.

Poland's prime minister has canceled a trip to Israel in the wake of reported remarks made by his Israeli counterpart suggesting Polish complicity during the Holocaust, an aide in his office told Polish media on Sunday.

A two-day security conference in Warsaw was supposed to be a crowning achievement for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stamping a seal on his long-held goal of pushing his behind-the-scenes ties with Arab leaders into the open. However, the Polish government summoned the Israeli ambassador on Friday and later said it was not satisfied with the explanation of the Israeli leader being quoted incorrectly.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz will attend the gathering of four Central and Eastern European nations in Jerusalem instead.

Netanyahu's office said he was misquoted.

After Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek said that they wished the issue "to be clarified unequivocally".

Nevertheless, Poland has summoned Israeli Ambassador Anna Azari over the reported remarks.

Tensions between Israel and Poland ran high last year after Poland introduced new legislation that would make the use of phrases such as "Polish death camps" punishable by up to three years in prison.

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Poland's government has sought to debunk references to potential Polish collaboration in the Holocaust, in an effort to "fight for the truth", Morawiecki told Poland's parliament a year ago.

Poland's nationalist government has sought to focus on cases of heroism by Poles during Germany's World War II occupation of the country.

Germany occupied Poland in 1939, annexing part of it to Germany and directly governing the rest.

Warsaw has always been at pains to point out that Poland, which was occupied by Nazi Germany, could not have and did not collaborate in the Holocaust although individual Poles may have done so.

The prewar Polish government and military fled into exile, and an underground resistance army fought the Nazis inside the country and tried to warn a deaf world about the Holocaust.

Because of that history, Poles find references to Polish "collaboration" to be unfair and hurtful. Thousands of Poles also risked their own lives to help Jews. Many Holocaust survivors and their relatives carry painful memories of persecution at Polish hands. I know the history and I don't whitewash it.

The dispute last sparked an explosion of anti-Semitic hate speech in Poland, and there were signs of another spike in recent days.

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