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Polish-Israeli ties undergoing ‘severe test': Jewish group

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 19.02.2019 08:00
The head of an influential Jewish advocacy group has said it is “most unfortunate” that Polish-Israeli relations are “undergoing another severe test.”

Poland and Israel share a “deep friendship” and strategic partnership, David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, said in a statement, adding that friends "need to be able to manage... inevitable differences."

His comments came amid Polish-Israeli tensions after Israel’s interim foreign minister reportedly claimed that Poles “suckled anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk.”

Harris noted that Poland was the first target of the German army in 1939, leading to the start of the World War II, and experienced a brutal Nazi German occupation.

“While Auschwitz is understandably associated with the Holocaust, it also held non-Jewish Poles, including many Catholic clergy,” he said.

Harris added that Polish soldiers “continued to fight in the Allied forces, including its brave pilots in the British air force.”

Meanwhile, “resistance in Poland was the most developed in Europe. Unlike France or Norway, for example, there was not a Polish collaborationist regime with the Nazis. And, notably, there are thousands of Poles recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for risking their lives to save Jewish lives.”

Harris continued: “To fast forward… yes, there are certainly pockets of anti-Semitism in Poland. No doubt about it. They can’t be denied or willed away.”

But he added: “As friends, we need to be able to manage our inevitable differences. That begins with choosing our words carefully — knowing when to speak, how to speak, and where to speak. It means not allowing individual incidents to escalate out of control.”


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