The joint statement published in Hebrew

Israel protests to Poland over Hebrew publication of joint statement

Jerusalem submits official protest to Warsaw over the decision to publish full-page ad in Israeli newspapers containing a bad Hebrew translation of the joint statement that was meant to end the crisis over the Holocaust law.

Israel submitted an official protest to the Polish government over the weekend over the publication of a full-page ad in Israeli newspapers containing a Hebrew translation of the joint statement clearing the Polish people of responsibility for crimes committed during the Holocaust.



The protest was submitted in Warsaw by Israel's Ambassador to Poland Anna Azari and in Israel to the Polish embassy.


The joint statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, which was aimed at ending the diplomatic crisis between the two countries over Poland's controversial Holocaust law, caused outrage in Israel, with the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum releasing a harsh condemnation of it, calling it "historically inaccurate."


Prime Minister Netanyahu (Photo: AP, Marc Israel Sellem)
Prime Minister Netanyahu (Photo: AP, Marc Israel Sellem)


Israel protested the fact the statement was published in Israeli newspapers in contravention of the agreement reached between the two prime ministers, as well as the fundamental errors in the Hebrew translation.


Israel's Foreign Affairs Ministry claimed the translation to Hebrew did not faithfully reflect the spirit of the statement.


A senior Israeli official said over the weekend that the explicit agreement between the two governments was that the affair would be put to rest after the two prime ministers read out the statement in English. He asserted that if the Poles hadn't published the statement in Hebrew, the crisis would have been over. Instead, it had been sparked anew.

The joint statement published in Hebrew as a full-page ad in Israeli newspapers
The joint statement published in Hebrew as a full-page ad in Israeli newspapers


Netanyahu is said to want to end the crisis in an effort to maintain the good ties with Poland, which is considered one of the friendliest countries towards Israel in the European Union.


The statement was also the result of massive American pressure to resolve the crisis, and it is possible it is also part of a broader Israeli effort to convince the Visegrád Group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) to all move their embassies to Jerusalem as one bloc.


Meanwhile, Education Minister Naftali Bennett has instructed schools not to teach the joint statement as part of history lessons. In addition, he decided to include a mandatory study unit about the Polish population's treatment of the Jewish people during World War II as part of the training given to tour guides who accompany Israeli students' educational trips to Poland.


"The education system will continue sticking to the historical truth according to which the Poles took active part in the Nazi extermination machine by murdering Jews, turning them in and informing on them," said Gilad Maniv, a national instructor in the Education Ministry entrusted with training high school history teachers.


According to Maniv, the education system expects students to ask and wonder about the historical narrative the Polish government is trying to manufacture, with the teachers explaining to students that there is a difference between national memory and historical memory.


Bennett; and Israeli teens in Poland (Photos: Alex Kolomoisky, AP)
Bennett; and Israeli teens in Poland (Photos: Alex Kolomoisky, AP)


"Historians deal with the research of historical truth," he said. "The Polish people's story is made up, this is a construction of the memory they want to create in order to minimize their responsibility for the horrors that took place on Polish soil during the war. That is why we must stick to the historical truth."


Maniv explained that the education system will continue teaching Israeli students that the Poles were anti-Semitic before, during and after the Holocaust.


"Before World War II broke out, the Poles excluded Jews from academia, boycotted and economically hurt them. When the Nazis came into Poland, they found a Polish population soaked with anti-Semitism, which is why the Poles' claims are not true," he said.


"We will continue teaching our students as we've taught them all these tears that the lion's share of the responsibility for the murder and the initiative was the Nazis', who built the concentration and extermination camps. The Polish government's claim that their government-in-exile, which was sitting in London, took care of the Jews and acted on their behalf is not true. The government-in-exile didn't consider the Jews, but rather the Polish people's suffering," he concluded.


פרסום ראשון: 07.08.18, 09:06
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