Spat Deepens As Israel, Poland Summon Each Other’s Envoys

Polish Ambassador to Israel Marek Magierowski. (Photo: Noam Feiner)

Folllowing Israel’s censure of Poland’s new restitution law as “immoral,” Poland summoned Israel’s charge d’affaires Tal Ben-Ari Yaalon to a meeting on Monday for “intervening in the internal affairs of another country” and “the statements of the foreign minister against the Polish government.”

The new bill, which was passed by Poland’s lower house of parliament on Thursday, set a 30-year deadline to recover confiscated property, essentially preventing any compensation of property seized during the Holocaust, or appeals of past rulings. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, the son of a Holocaust survivor, excoriated the ruling, saying “no law will change history.”

Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski said on state television on Sunday that Warsaw will explain the new legislation to the Israeli envoy and set the record straight. “We believe that unfortunately what we’re dealing with here is a situation that certain Israeli politicians are exploiting for internal political purposes.”

Meanwhile, also on Sunday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry summoned Poland’s Ambassador to Israel, Mark Magierowski.

Alon Bar, the head of the ministry’s political department, told Magierowski that Israel is “deeply disappointed by the bill… that, according to experts, is expected to negatively impact at least 90% of the property restitution claims of Holocaust survivors and their descendants.”

Bar stressed that the law would negatively affect the relations between Israel and Poland, adding that it is not too late for Poland to halt processes that mean “renouncing its obligations toward Holocaust survivors.” Bar also called for a return to dialogue on property restitution for Holocaust survivors, which was halted in 2019.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)