ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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Poland seeks Israeli apology for ‘racist’ remarks

Official says relations could ‘take a frosty turn’ if Jerusalem doesn’t apologize for acting FM’s claim that ‘Poles suckle anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk’

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a conference on Peace and Security in the Middle East in Warsaw, Poland, February 14, 2019. (AP/Michael Sohn)
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a conference on Peace and Security in the Middle East in Warsaw, Poland, February 14, 2019. (AP/Michael Sohn)

Senior Polish officials on Tuesday demanded Israel apologize for comments on the alleged anti-Semitism of Poles, in a row that led Warsaw to pull out of a Jerusalem summit this week.

Israeli authorities must “reject this declaration… and apologize,” Junior Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski said.

He was referring to Acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz’s comments to Channel 13 over 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 WWII history.

Israel Katz attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on February 17, 2019. (Sebastian Scheiner/Pool/AFP)

Netanyahu has been promoting the meeting of the so-called Visegrad Group — an alliance of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia that represents the nationalist and conservative wing of the European Union — as heralding a nationalist bloc within the EU that supports Israeli policies more strongly than many in the west.

Morawiecki’s chief of staff, Marek Suski, said Tuesday that if no apology was forthcoming “relations will really take a frosty turn.”

The Polish premier on Monday described the comments as “racist and unacceptable,” adding that Katz was “trying to insult the Poles by distorting history.”

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