Israel should apologise to Poland over 'racist remarks': US envoy

Israel should apologise to Poland over 'racist remarks': US envoy
US ambassador to Poland said Israel and Poland "shouldn’t be using that kind of rhetoric" and called on Israel's foreign minister to apologise.
2 min read
20 February, 2019
US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher at a press conference in 2019 [Getty Images]

Israel's Acting Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, should apologise to Poland for remarks, US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

"I just felt that two strong allies like Israel and Poland, of course they are strong allies of the United States, shouldn’t be using that kind of rhetoric. We are too important to each other not to work these things out," Mosbacher told reporters.

Senior Polish officials similarly demanded Israel apologise for comments on the alleged anti-Semitism of Poles in a row which led Warsaw to pull out of a Jerusalem summit.

Israeli authorities must "reject this declaration... and apologise", Junior Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski said.

He was referring to Katz's comments at the weekend that "Poles suckle anti-Semitism with their mothers' milk".

Katz also said "there were many Poles who collaborated with the Nazis."

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki withdrew from a summit of Central European nations in Jerusalem this week after the latest salvo in a long row between Poland and Israel over the Holocaust, triggering the collapse of the entire meeting.

The Visegrad group meeting of four Central European nations had been touted by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as an important step in his outreach to pro-Israel central European governments.

Morawiecki's chief of staff Marek Suski said if no apology was forthcoming "relations will really take a frosty turn".

The row between Poland and Israel broke out last week when Netanyahu - who was quoted in Haaretz newspaper as saying that "the Poles collaborated with the Nazis" - was condemned in Poland.

The fresh controversy in Polish-Israeli ties comes after a row last year over a Polish law that made it illegal to accuse the Polish nation or state of complicity in Nazi German crimes.

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