Israel summons Polish envoy over Holocaust bill

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (C), wife Karen (2nd L), Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau (L), Chairman of Yad Vashem Avner Shalev (3rd R), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and wife Sara Netanyahu (2nd R) visit the Hall of Names in Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. I strongly oppose it. History can not be changed and it is forbidden to deny the Holocaust.

"We will accept no limitation on truthful historical research", Netanyahu earlier told his cabinet.

Quoting former Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski's words to the Knesset, Rivlin stated that "one cannot fake history, one cannot rewrite it, one cannot hide the truth".

"Only 73 years have passed since the gates of hell were flung open. Poland's new law is especially objectionable as it stifles any real confrontation with the most chilling aspect of the country's wartime history - the extent to which local Poles were complicit in the destruction of their Jewish neighbors".

"Every crime, every offense, must be condemned. They must be examined and revealed".

If the bill passes Poland's senate and becomes law, which Haaretz reports seems likely, it will apply not just to Poles but to anyone in any country who blames the Polish state for Nazi crimes. About 380,000 survived the genocide, the rest having died in ghettos and death camps there, according to Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. Polish parliament's lower house passed the controversial bill last Friday which still requires the approval of the upper house.

"Important Israeli politicians and media are attacking us for the bill".

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Deputy Justice Minister Patryk Jaki, the author of the bill, responded to Israel's criticism on Twitter by saying claims that Poles were "co-responsible" for the Holocaust were "proof of how necessary this bill is". "Jews, Poles and all victims should be guardians of the memory of all who were murdered by German Nazis", Morawiecki wrote on Twitter late Saturday. "There were Polish death camps and no law can ever change that".

"I am a son of a Holocaust survivor".

You have to make a distinction between two things: the issue that the Poles do not want the camps like Belzec and Auschwitz to be talked about as Polish death camps, which is perfectly legitimate, because they weren't Polish death camps; they were German death camps in Poland.

"Education, not punitive laws, is essential to building greater awareness of all the facts of what transpired in Poland during World War II and the Holocaust", Markiewicz continued.

That campaign has been largely successful, and Polish embassies around the world launch immediate protests when such comments appear in the foreign press.

Nazi Germany established the main hubs of their extermination machine on Polish territory, including the largest concentration camp, Auschwitz, and the three primary extermination camps: Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec and Chelmno. "Shameless", the Polish embassy retorted.