Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki agreed to work together on Polish legislation that seeks to criminalize accusations that Poland was complicit in Nazi crimes during the Holocaust.
In a statement Sunday evening, Netanyahu said “teams from both countries would open an immediate dialogue in order to try to reach understandings.”
The measure, which was ratified last week by the Sejm, the lower house of the parliament, still must be approved by the Senate and signed by the President Andrzej Duda before becoming law.
However, the interim step set off a full-scale diplomatic crisis between Jerusalem and Warsaw, with Netanyahu saying that Israel has “no tolerance” for distorting the truth and rewriting history or denying the Holocaust.
“We will never accept any attempt to rewrite history; we will not accept any restriction on the study of historical truth,” he said.
In addition, Education Minister Naftali Bennett instructed schools to devote two hours of class time this week for lessons about “the involvement of local populations, including in Poland, in the Holocaust of the Jewish people.”
“It is a fact that many Poles helped murder Jews, during and after the Holocaust. Indeed, the term ‘Polish extermination camps’ is inaccurate since these were German camps (located) on Polish soil. But, as noted, it is impossible to ignore the fact that were many Poles who collaborated with the Nazis. We must make sure that Israeli students know the reality as it happened,” Bennett said in a statement on Monday.