Poland's PM will bring children of ambassador to Israel 'safely' home after diplomatic row

Poland's PM will bring children of ambassador to Israel 'safely' home after diplomatic row
Poland’s PM said 'an increased hatred of Poland and Poles' in Israel prompted him to provide safe passage for the ambassador’s children back home to Poland.
2 min read
18 August, 2021
Poland's PM Mateusz Morawiecki said Israel's reaction to the new law was "baseless and irresponsible" [source: Getty]

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he will "safely bring back home" the children of the ambassador to Israel after a diplomatic row over a Polish law over the property ownership of survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. 

The bill, signed by Poland’s President Andrzej Duda on Saturday, set limits on the ability of Jews to recover property seized by the Nazis during World War Two.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid slammed the legislation as “antisemitic and immoral”. 

After its signing, he instructed Israel's charge d'affaires in Warsaw to return home to Tel Aviv for "an indefinite period of time" and told Poland's ambassador to Israel to "prolong his vacation in his country". 

Morawiecki said in a Facebook post on Sunday that he had decided to provide safe transport back to Poland for the children of the ambassador, amid what he called "an increased hatred of Poland and Poles" in Israel. 

Morawiecki called Israel's reactions to the law "baseless and irresponsible". 

"No-one who knows the truth about the Holocaust and Poland's suffering during World War II can accept this way of conducting politics," the Polish premier said in a Facebook post.

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Before World War Two, Poland had been home to one of the world's biggest Jewish communities, but it was almost entirely wiped out by the Nazi Germans. 

Jewish former property owners and their descendants have been campaigning for compensation.

Up to now, Jewish expatriates or their descendants could make a claim that a property had been seized illegally and demand its return, but Polish officials argued this was causing uncertainty over property ownership.

In 2015, Poland's Constitutional Tribunal ruled there should be specific deadlines after which administrative decisions over property titles could no longer be challenged. Changes to the law were adopted by the Polish parliament last week.

The new law sets a 30-year limit for restitution claims so could block thousands of potential claims from the Nazi occupation of Poland era.