Has Netanyahu sparked Israeli-Polish crisis over Jewish deaths in WWII?

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara visit the Jewish Museum in Warsaw, Poland, February 14, 2019. (photo credit: KACPER PEMPEL / REUTERS)


Rsaw — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to push back Thursday against a Polish law that prohibits broad statements that the Poland as a state or as a nation, collaborated with the Nazis to kill Jews during World War II.

“Poles cooperated with the Germans” during the Holocaust, Netanyahu said.

He spoke toward the end of a two day trip to Warsaw as he sat in the Museum of the History of Polish Jews located in the heart of what had been the Warsaw Ghetto.

Prior to World War II, Warsaw had the largest Jewish community in Europe and the second largest in the world after New York. Overall, some 3 million Jews lived in Poland, but only a fraction survived the Holocaust. Poland’s Jewish community today numbers less than 10,000.

Prior to leaving Warsaw, after attending a US led summit on the Middle East, Netanyahu paused to pay homage to the victims of the Holocaust by attending a small ceremony by the memorial to the Jewish resistance fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto together with US Vice President Mike Pence and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Netanyahu and Pence also signed the Museum’s guest book.

Then in a meeting with Israeli reporters in the Museum Netanyahu said that Poles had helped Germans kill Jews during WWII, and that this was a known fact.

“I am saying it here, there is no argument about this,” Netanyahu said.

But he differentiated between the past and the present, explaining that today antisemitism is worse in western Europe than in eastern Europe.

Netanyahu spoke in advance of a visit to Israel next week by Morawiecki. Kann News reporter Amichai Stein tweets on Thursday night that Morawiecki was now considering canceling his trip.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post