Saturday, 24 Feb 2018 - 9 of Adar, 5778

Leading European rabbi in message to Polish PM Mazowiecki : reject new ‘shocking’ Holocaust bill

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BRUSSELS—A European Jewish leader on Monday urged Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to reject a new legislation in Poland that would make it illegal to claim that Poles were responsible for Holocaust-era crimes against humanity. A proposal that as received as a ‘’shock’’ by the Jewish world.

In a video sent to Morawiecki and to the permanent representative of Poland to the eu and to all Polish members of the European Jewish Parliament, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Director of the European Jewish Association (EJA) said : ‘’I am sending you this message from the European Parliament on the opening of an exhibition highlighting Nazi propaganda. You just have to listen to Holocaust survivors and hear about the action of Polish people during the war.’’

‘’Of course we know that concentration camps were not built by the Polish. Of course we know that Poland had the highest number of Righteous that helped to save Jews. At the same time history simply cannot be changed and responsibility has to be taken by Poland  exactly as by other European countries that were involved by supporting the Nazi regime,’’ he added.

He said the Jewish world was shocked ‘’because at least what we expected on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is  for Poland to adopt the European Parliament definition of ant-Semitism’’ and that Poland ‘’would finally appoint a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism due to the situation and  the level of antisemitism in Poland today.’’

‘’Getting such an information that Poland on International Memorial Day instead of doing more to fighting antisemitism is propose a law whitewashing Polish responsibility is very bad news. We urge you today to take immediate action to reject this law,’’ Rabbi Margolin concluded.

Margolin as also called upon Polish President Andrzej Duda ”to exercise his constitutional rights and veto the shameful resolution” adopted Friday by the lower house of Sejm, the Polish parliament.

He has instructed the EJA’s legal advisors to examine all legal venues to revoke the bill in the Polish Constitutionl Court. In addition to the work in Poland, the EJA said it will conduct a campaign in the European parliament and other institutions to have the bill revoked.

 

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