Polish President blames the Jewish State for rising anti-Semitism in Poland
Polish President Andrzej Duda blamed Israel for rising anti-Semitism in Poland in a meeting with American Jewish leaders at the Polish Consulate in New York on Wednesday.
Duda referred to comments by Israel’s Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz. Katz quoted former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir earlier this year, saying that “Poles suckle antisemitism from their mothers’ milk”.
“I am a son of Holocaust survivors and I was even born and grew up in a community made up of Holocaust survivors. The memory of the Holocaust is something we cannot compromise about; it is clear and we won’t forget or forgive.
“In diplomacy, you try not to offend, but nobody will change the historical truth to do something like that. Poles collaborated with the Nazis, definitely. As Yitzhak Shamir said, they suckle anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk,” Minister Katz said earlier this year.
Duda called Katz’s historic facts a “humiliation”, adding that the recent rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Poland is a reaction to Katz’s comments and other Jews like him.
A confrontation broke out after the meeting between the Polish president and some of the participants, which included members of AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League.
The remarks come amid a surge of far-right extremism in Poland. The current ultra-nationalist government is attempting to rewrite history and curb some of today’s basic freedoms like the rule of law and freedom of speech.
Far-right Polish organizations do not accept the results of research carried out by historians, which indicate the active participation of Poles in murdering Jews during the Holocaust.
Last year, Polish lawmakers voted to water down the Holocaust denial law following pressure from Israel and the United States, and removed parts that imposed jail terms on people who mention Poland’s active role in the Holocaust and make the use of phrases such as “Polish Death Camps” to refer to the Polish death camps, punishable.