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Poland asks Israel to apologise for ‘slanderous’ remarks

February 20, 2019 at 10:02 am

US Vice President Mike Pence (L), Polish President Andrzej Duda (C) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Warsaw, Poland on 13 February 2019 [Sean Gallup/Getty Images]

The government of Poland said it is still waiting for an apology from Israel following “slanderous” remarks made by senior officials regarding the role of Poles in the Nazi Holocaust.

International media widely reported the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek saying yesterday: “We leave it to Israeli leaders to choose what form of reaction they will have and who will react, but it should be a unified and definite one.”

The Polish official described the remarks of the acting Israeli foreign minister Yisrael Katz as “shameful, scandalous and slanderous” and they require an “unequivocal and definite” reaction.

READ: Polish PM cancels trip to Israel in wake of comments on Poles in Holocaust 

On Sunday, Katz said that Poles collaborated with Nazi Germany during the Second World War and “sucked anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk.”

The “mothers’ milk” remark repeated a 1989 comment by Israel’s then-prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, which drew condemnation at the time, according to AFP.

In response to Katz, Poland pulled out of a summit of central European nations in Jerusalem scheduled for this week.

AFP reported US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher writing on her Polish-language Twitter account that Katz’s comments were “offensive” and out of place between such “close allies as Poland and Israel.”