Netanyahu to Polish PM: Holocaust comment 'unacceptable'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the Muni World conference in Tel Aviv on Feb 14, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday (Feb 18) told his Polish counterpart that his remarks on "Jewish perpetrators of the Holocaust" were unacceptable and unfounded, Netanyahu's office said.

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today spoke by telephone with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki," a statement said.

"He told him that the remarks that were made were unacceptable and that there was no basis for comparing the actions of Poles during the Holocaust to those of Jews."

On Saturday (Feb 17) Morawiecki, who like Netanyahu was in Munich for a global security conference, was questioned by a journalist who told of his mother's narrow escape from the Gestapo in Poland after learning that neighbours were planning to denounce them, and asked if recounting that would now be against the law in Poland.

"It's not going to be punishable," he replied. "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 Ukraine and German perpetrators."

His comments fuelled an already seething diplomatic row with Israel sparked by a controversial law passed by Poland's senate this month.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out that the goal of the Holocaust was to destroy the Jewish people and that all Jews were under sentence of death," the Israeli statement said.

"He told his Polish counterpart that the distortion regarding Poland could not be corrected by means of another distortion."

"The two agreed that the countries would continue their dialogue on the matter and that to this end the teams would hopefully meet soon."

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