Polish MP to i24NEWS: Israel should stop thinking it has monopoly of suffering
Jack Guez (AFP)
A member of the Polish Parliament told i24NEWS Israel should stop thinking it has the "monopoly of suffering" referring to the Jewish state's objections to a new law which bans any reference to Polish responsibility in the Holocaust.
"Israel does not have a monopoly on suffering. Poles and Russians also suffered. How can Israel complain when Israel itself doesn't recognize the Armenian genocide?," said Robert Winnick, a member of the National Movement , a right-wing party included in the current coalition government.
Deputy Speaker of the Polish Parliament Malgorzata Kidawa Blonska, however, told i24NEWS Israel should not assume all Polish politicians are in four of the new law. "This law doesn't represent all of Poland," she said.
In the latest chapter of the diplomatic row between Israel and Poland on the Holocaust bill, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett slammed the government in Warsaw for declining his offer to go on an official visit and discuss the new bill.
"The Government of Poland cancelled my visit because I mentioned the crimes of its people. I am honored," Bennett said. "I accepted an invitation to a dialogue based on truth, the Polish Government chose to avoid this truth."
"Yes the death camps in Poland were built and operated by the Germans, and we cannot allow them to evade responsibility for these actions. However, many Polish people all over the country chased, informed or actively took part in the murder of over 200,000 Jews during and after the Holocaust," Bennett added.
Prior to announcing the visit to Poland, Minister Bennett had instructed schools across Israel to add lessons about the role in the Holocaust of local populations that were occupied by the Nazis, including the Poles.
The United States Secretary of state Rex Wayne Tillerson also condemned the new law.
"The United States is disappointed that the President of Poland has signed legislation that would impose criminal penalties for attributing Nazi crimes to the Polish state. We understand this law will be referred to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. Enactment of this law adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry," his statement read.
Secretary Tillerson: US is disappointed that the President of #Poland has signed legislation that would impose criminal penalties for attributing Nazi crimes to the Polish state. Enactment of this law adversely affects freedom of speech & academic inquiry. https://t.co/3cMrXlWo1W pic.twitter.com/GsIlEeMv5c— Department of State (@StateDept) February 6, 2018
In the second section of the statement, Secretary of state Rex Wayne Tillerson accepts Poland's complaint that concentration camps on Polish territory during WW2 should not be addressed as "Polish", since they were run by Nazi German occupying forces.
"The United States reaffirms that terms like “Polish death camps” are painful and misleading. Such historical inaccuracies affect Poland, our strong ally, and must be combatted in ways that protect fundamental freedoms. We believe that open debate, scholarship, and education are the best means of countering misleading speech," concludes the statement.
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said like a good little Nazi polack