search

Poland to send envoy to Israel, apparently putting year-long dispute to bed

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Holocaust survivor Edward Mossberg with Polish president Andrzej Duda, at a ceremony in the March of the Living at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp site in Poland, as Israel marks annual Holocaust Memorial Day, on April 12, 2018. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90/ File)
Holocaust survivor Edward Mossberg with Polish president Andrzej Duda, at a ceremony in the March of the Living at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp site in Poland, as Israel marks annual Holocaust Memorial Day, on April 12, 2018. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90/ File)

Poland will send its ambassador-designate to present his letters of credentials in the coming days, President Andrzej Duda tells Israeli President Isaac Herzog, in the strongest indication yet that the two countries are moving beyond a bitter year-long diplomatic spat.

Their phone call, during which Herzog requests the return of a Polish envoy, is part of a joint initiative with the Foreign Ministry.

“Both presidents expressed their hope that any future issues between Poland and Israel will be solved through sincere and open dialogue and in a spirit of mutual respect,” reads a statement from Herzog’s office.

The two erstwhile allies have been locking horns since last year. In July 2021, Poland’s legislature passed a law effectively cutting off any future restitution to the heirs of property seized by the Nazis during the Holocaust. In response to the legislation, signed into law by Duda, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called it “antisemitic and immoral.”

Israel recalled its envoy to Warsaw for consultations the following month, and Lapid advised Poland’s ambassador to Israel to remain on vacation in his homeland and instructed Israel’s new ambassador to Poland, Ya’acov Livne, to remain in Israel.

Since then, the two sides have slowly deescalated the tensions. Livne took up his perch in Warsaw in February to coordinate Israeli efforts to extract citizens from Ukraine and to provide aid to Kyiv. Two Polish lawmakers visited the Knesset in June in a further sign of warming ties.

But disagreement remains. Two weeks ago,  Israel said it was not resuming  Holocaust study trips for schoolchildren because Poland’s right-wing government was trying to control the curriculum.

We have a new, improved comments system. To comment, simply register or sign in.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed