By Noa Landau, HAARETZ, 1/31/2018
A diplomatic dispute between Poland and Israel over pending Polish legislation that would outlaw blaming Poland for the crimes of the Holocaust, has led to an outburst of anti-Semitic comments in Poland, including some in the government-controlled media.
Poland’s lower house of parliament gave its approval Friday to the “Death Camps Law,” which calls for penalties of up to three years in prison for anyone who “publicly and against the facts” accuses the Polish people of crimes committed by Nazi Germany during World War II. The bill was still on the agenda for the Polish Senate on Wednesady, but it was unclear if a vote would take place.
The harsh criticism of the proposed law in Israel has offended many in Poland, including those who oppose the law and any expressions of anti-Semitism. The Israeli media, politicians and Foreign Ministry have all come out strongly against the bill, which seems to have surprised the Polish government – and led to the latest outbreak of anti-Semitic expression, including on social networks and in the Polish media.
As a result, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it was “following with concern the expressions of an anti-Semitic nature in the Polish media, and was considering an inquiry on the matter through the [Israeli] Embassy in Warsaw.”