Israel accuses Poland of 'denial' over Holocaust law


Several Israeli lawmakers and Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial came out against the legislation passed Friday by the lower house of the Polish parliament.

Poland's President Andrzej Duda said in a statement on Sunday that he would present his "final evaluation of procedural legal provisions after the completion of parliament's work and a careful analysis of the final shape of the act".

Netanyahu on Saturday evening slammed the legislation as "absurd", and said that he had instructed Israel's envoy to Warsaw to meet the Polish prime minister to convey a "firm stand" against the law.

Poland's deputy ambassador was summoned to Israel's foreign ministry over Polish legislation that would criminalize the term "Polish death camps".

"I utterly condemn the new Polish law which tries to deny Polish complicity in the Holocaust". The bill also bans denial of the murder of about 100,000 Poles by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) during World War II.

The country was occupied for years by the forces of Nazi Germany, who herded Jews into ghettos, shot at least 200,000 of them and killed an additional million in Auschwitz, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

"Auschwitz is the most bitter lesson on how evil ideologies can lead to hell on earth", Morawiecki said in a statement.

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"We must consider carefully how we use them - in writing, on social media and face to face".

Polish officials claim the law aims not to "whitewash", but rather "to safeguard" history.

"Jews, Poles, and all victims should be guardians of the memory of all who were murdered by German Nazis", Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland said on Saturday night on Twitter, after the backlash began.

"Education, not punitive laws, is essential to building greater awareness of all the facts of what transpired in Poland during World War II and the Holocaust", Markiewicz continued. On 18 January, the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide center commemorated the day by screening Germans & Jews: History is the Memory of People. "It is to safeguard it, to safeguard the truth about the Holocaust and to prevent its distortion", he said. The bill also prohibits phrases such as "Polish death camps".

After causing outrage previous year for its omission of any mention of Jewish people, the new statement specifically mentions the six million Jews killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. "Your embassy should offer an immediate apology".

Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennett on Sunday issued a directive ordering all schools to allocate two hours of study in the coming week dedicated to educating on the compliance of European nations with Nazi Germany, including the Poles. Auschwitz-Birkenau was a place of unimaginable horror and tragedy, and it - but we must remember what happened there and in similar camps under the Nazi reign of terror.

Holocaust survivors interviewed in Israel's best-selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, gave first-hand accounts of how Poles refused them help or turned them over to German authorities.