PM slams ‘racist anti-Polonism’ amid spat with Israel over WWII history
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s prime minister on Monday slammed "racist" comments by Israel’s foreign minister, who reportedly claimed that Poles “suckled anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk.”
PM Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
As a spat flared up between the two countries, PM Mateusz Morawiecki warned that Poland’s foreign minister could pull out of a summit of four Central European countries planned in Jerusalem on Monday and Tuesday.
Morawiecki responded to the reported comment by Israel’s new foreign minister, Israel Katz, by saying: “This is an example of racist anti-Polonism.”
'Reprehensible, unacceptable and simply racist'
Morawiecki told journalists on Monday morning: "At the moment we are waiting for a firm reaction to the reprehensible, unacceptable and simply racist words of the newly-appointed foreign minister of Israel.”
Morawiecki added: "If there is no such reaction from the other side, we will wish them the best possible meeting, but [Foreign] Minister Jacek Czaputowicz will also not attend the gathering in Israel.”
The Polish prime minister had earlier said he would not take part himself in a meeting of the Visegrad Group in Jerusalem. He delegated Czaputowicz to take part in the gathering.
The regional cooperation platform brings together Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Morawiecki’s decision not to attend comes after a rumpus over comments reportedly made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a conference on the Middle East in Warsaw last week.
Netanyahu’s reported comments were seen as suggesting Polish complicity in the Holocaust, carried out by Nazi Germany in World War II.
But Netanyahu’s office has said that the Israeli PM “spoke of Poles and not the Polish people or the country of Poland. This was misquoted and misrepresented in press reports and was subsequently corrected by the journalist who issued the initial misstatement.”
Morawiecki had responded by saying: "In fact, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke only of individual cases of collaborators.”
The efforts of thousands of Poles who risked their lives by helping Jews during World War II have been recognised by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial.