Polish ex-diplomats say Warsaw officials politicizing Israeli spitting incident

29 former ambassadors sign open letter criticizing their government’s response to man who spat at Polish envoy in Tel Aviv

A view of the entrance to the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
A view of the entrance to the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

WARSAW, Poland — A group of former Polish ambassadors criticized Polish authorities for publicizing an Israeli man’s spitting on the current Polish ambassador to Israel, saying they are inserting themselves into the current election campaign.

The 29 former ambassadors, who represented Poland in various countries in the past, on Saturday published a joint letter in which they mention the incident involving Marek Magierowski, the current Polish ambassador to Israel, in which a 65-year-old Israeli man spat on him in his car in front of the embassy building in Tel Aviv.

The perpetrator apologized for his deed, explaining that he did not know that he was dealing with the ambassador. He said he went to the embassy to talk about the restitution of property left in Poland after the war. He claims he was insulted by an embassy employee, which made him nervous.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called the attack “racist” and “xenophobic,” and Polish President Andrzej Duda wrote a letter to his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin, in which he stressed that “we strongly disagree with chauvinism and hatred based on nationality.”

Polish Ambassador to Israel Marek Magierowski in Jerusalem on October 11, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

Former ambassadors criticized the publication and commenting on the incident by the highest authorities in Poland. “When the head of state and the head of government take the floor, the event takes on the size of an interstate conflict. In this cynical reasoning, the Polish raison d’état does not matter. The maintenance of power is invaluable,” the letter said.

Both Duda and Morawiecki are associated with the ruling Law and Justice Party. Polish national elections must take place by November.

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