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Israel and Poland diplomatic crisis escalates

Marek Magierowski, Polish ambassador to Israel [Wikipedia]
Marek Magierowski, Polish ambassador to Israel [Wikipedia]

The diplomatic crisis between Israel and Poland has escalated with the Polish Ambassador to Israel being told by his government not to return to his post after his family holiday, agencies have reported. Ambassador Marek Magierowski will remain in Poland until further notice.

This followed the recall of Israel's envoy from Warsaw for consultations. The Times of Israel said that the Israeli Foreign Ministry has also advised Magierowski to stay in his country.

The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it takes "a negative view of actions taken by the Foreign Ministry in Israel and the unfounded decision to lower the rank of its diplomatic representation in Warsaw." Such steps taken by Israel, it insisted, "harm our relations very severely. The Polish government will take appropriate political and diplomatic measures, taking into account the principle of symmetry applicable in bilateral relations."

Poland said on Monday that it is looking at the suspension of annual Israeli youth trips to Holocaust memorial sites in the country. It noted that such trips are used to reinforce hate against Poland, which was not responsible for the Holocaust.

"The trips do not take place in a proper manner," said Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski. "They sometimes instill hatred for Poland in the minds of young Israelis." He added that his country is dealing with anti-Polish sentiment in Israel, one of the reasons for which is the way that Israeli youth are educated and raised. "This propaganda, based on hatred of Poland, seeps into the heads of young people from an early age in school."

READ: Polish Jews accuse Israel of creating unnecessary crisis over property law

The Polish official stressed that his country would make a decision on the matter after further discussions. "The way these trips [currently] take place is certainly not the right way," he added.

Commenting on the passing of a law in Poland which closes the window of opportunity for people to reclaim property confiscated by the state during the communist era, which is expected to affect Holocaust victims and their descendants, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that this was "not the first time" that the country had passed an "anti-Semitic and immoral law."

According to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the approval of the law was "a shameful decision and disgraceful contempt for the memory of the Holocaust." Defence Minister Benny Gantz added that he was "deeply disturbed" by the law and called for the world to condemn it.

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Europe & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsPoland
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