Last updated on February 23rd, 2019
Israel’s acting foreign minister, Israel Katz should apologise to Poland for accusing the nation of being anti-Semitic, Washington’s ambassador to Warsaw has said. The comments came after the foreign minister said “many poles” had worked together with the Nazis.
As reported by the media, the spat sparked after Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu accused Poles of complicity in Holocaust. Following which, the comments from Netanyahu’s minister Israel Katz added salt into the wounds, who labeled them as anti-Semitic.
Katz’s words thus instigated a new rivalry as Poland announced pulling out of the planned summit of central European states in Israel.
Georgette Mosbacher, US ambassador, on her Polish-language Twitter account mentioned that remarks by Katz were “offensive” and out of place between such “close allies as Poland and Israel.”
“I just felt that two strong allies like Israel and Poland, of course, they are strong allies of the United States, shouldn’t be using that kind of rhetoric,” She added, “We are too important to each other not to work these things out.”
Poland was once home to one of the largest Jewish communities before World War Two. However, more than 3 million Polish Jews died in the Holocaust. Moreover, the spat is also a blow to the peace conference, which the US held last week in Warsaw, to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East region.
Netanyahu, whose office said his initial comments were misconceived, also faced major outrage over his statement. This could especially be the case because some viewed the upcoming conference as a bid to win allies in central Europe, which Israel with its comments lost big time.
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, member of right-wing Likud party, said on Wednesday there were Poles who cooperated with Nazis and Poles who saved Jews. “The entire Polish nation cannot be blamed for the Holocaust,” he said in an interview with Reshet Beit Radio. He added, “Poland is one of the friendliest countries to Israel… The understandings between us and Poland still stand.”
However, the comments can still badly hurt Netanyahu, who is already losing popularity ahead of the upcoming April elections in Israel.