The US ambassador to Poland on Friday wished Jews a happy Passover in Polish, and the reaction has been a wave of angry comments on Twitter.
Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher also wished Poles a happy Easter on Sunday. But by then, she was accused of offending the country with her Passover tweet and reminded that she is serving in a mostly Roman Catholic country.
Krystyna Pawlowicz, a lawmaker with Poland’s ruling right-wing party, called it a “provocation.”
Robert Bakiewicz, a far-right activist who organizes a yearly Independence Day march that government leaders joined last year, said “Christ died and was resurrected also for you, pagans and traitorous Jews.”
Some came to Mosbacher’s defense, recalling that Poland also has a small Jewish population. Poland was home to Europe’s largest Jewish population before the Holocaust.
Z okazji rozpoczynającego się dziś wieczorem święta Pesach, obchodzonego na pamiątkę wyjścia Izraelitów z niewoli egipskiej, życzę pokoju i radosnego święta! Chag Pesach Sameach, Happy Passover! pic.twitter.com/2ZXvQ1S4i6
— Georgette Mosbacher (@USAmbPoland) April 19, 2019
Israel and Poland have recently seen diplomatic tensions over a controversial law that forbids blaming the Polish nation for Nazi crimes.
In February, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a February visit that some Poles collaborated with the Germans during the Holocaust. He said speaking about the complicity of individuals was permissible despite the law.
But his comment, which was misrepresented in some media as referring to all Poles, triggered a diplomatic spat. It escalated when Israel’s acting foreign minister, Israel Katz, later said that Poles imbibe “anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk.”
Mosbacher at the time criticized Katz and called on him to apologize for the comment.