Poland PM Mateusz Morawiecki cancelled a trip to Israel following comments on the Holocaust by Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.
We do not believe Poland (or others in Visegrad) should send ‘anyone’ until Netanyahu publicly apologizes and rebukes his Foreign Minister for repeating slanderous statements directed at the Polish people.
Israel is hosting a meeting with the Visegrad Group this Tuesday. This was not a good start. We do not believe any representative from Poland or Visegrad should attend until the government of Israel apologizes.
– Mr Netanyahu was quoted in Israeli media as saying “Poles co-operated with the Germans” during the Holocaust. He later issued a clarification saying he was not referring to the Polish nation or all Polish people.
(During World War Two, Poland suffered brutal occupation by the Nazi Germany and Soviet regimes and more than five million Polish citizens, three million of them Jews, died. The occupying German regime built “German-Nazi death camps” on its soil during the occupation.)
– Poland summoned the Israeli ambassador and on Sunday and said Mr Morawiecki would not attend the V4 summit on Tuesday.
Instead, Poland will be represented at the summit by Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz. (What does this do? A weak response. In our opinion, Poland should not attend at all.)
* We believe this is too light and we would not send anyone – given the reckless and slanderous comments from Israel’s new acting foreign minister, Israel Katz, appointed by Mr. Netanyahu only hours earlier. Katz said: “Polish people collaborated with the Nazis…How did Shamir (a former Israeli prime minister) say it? As far as he was concerned the Poles were breastfed anti-Semitism by their mothers”.
As Dominika Cosic suggested on Twitter, Katz may want to ask himself if Czesia Kwoka was breastfed antisemitism by her Polish mother? The details are in link below.
** Additionally, Viktor Orban and the other leaders of the V4 must not remain silent over these reckless comments. We believe the Visegrad Group should demand a public apology from Katz before they attend any conference in Israel, especially one under the banner of the V4.
As far as the Summit, we have no problem with cooperation between the V4 and Israel on various issues, but there needs to be clear lines not to be crossed. Visegrad must not get drawn into any coalitions desiring war with Iran.
Like the neocon-led invasion of Iraq, this would be a colossal mistake that would further destabilize the Middle East.
Visegrad’s strategic interests and national security priorities are far different than those of Israel or Saudi Arabia.