Netanyahu rebukes Polish PM over Jewish perpetrators claim

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sharply rebuked his Polish counterpart for saying that Jews were among the perpetrators of the Holocaust.

He said the remarks by Mateusz Morawiecki at the Munich Security Conference were “outrageous” and they showed “an inability to understand history”.

The dispute comes weeks after Israel condemned a new Polish bill making it illegal to accuse the Polish nation or state of complicity in Nazi crimes.

Poland has long objected to the use of phrases like “Polish death camps”, which suggest the Polish state in some way shared responsibility for camps such as Auschwitz, built and operated by Nazi Germany after it invaded Poland in 1939.

Six million Jews were killed in the holocaust overall.

Morawiecki made the remark while responding to  questions from an Israeli journalist who asked him if anyone who said there were Polish collaborators in the Holocaust would be considered a criminal in Poland under the new law.

He said: “It’s extremely important to first understand that, of course, it’s not going to be punishable, not going to be seen as criminal to say that there were Polish perpetrators – as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukrainian…. not only German perpetrators.”

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