by OFER ADERET
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki acknowledges that among the Poles there were “individual criminals, as in any nation,” but will not accept any generalizations about Poland’s involvement as a nation and Poles’ involvement as a people in the Nazis’ crimes.
Speaking with Haaretz this week, after the eruption of the current diplomatic crisis between Israel and Poland, Morawiecki says he was profoundly hurt by the comments of interim Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who quoted former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir when he said, “The Poles imbibed anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk.”
This sentence, says Morawiecki, is the reason he canceled his participation in the Visegrad Summit, which was scheduled to be held this week in Israel.
“I have no problem with someone mentioning the fact that during the cruel, evil, dehumanizing war there were individual criminals in my nation – obviously there were, just as in every other nation,” says Morawiecki. “But when you use these stereotypes that ‘every Pole suckled anti-Semitism out of their mother’s breast’ it’s nothing short of racism.”
However, the Polish prime minister says he stands firmly by the [joint] statement [with Israel from June 2018]. "Our nations deserve better. Only the enemies of good Polish-Israeli relations are interested in sowing seeds of hatred between our people.”
To read the article in full, visit Haaretz.