Polish ministry asked to probe Israel’s call on student meeting with Palestinian rep


WARSAW (JTA) — A meeting between a representative of the Palestinian community in Poland and high school students was canceled after a phone call from the Israeli Embassy.

The cancellation prompted a request for a Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs investigation, according to the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.

Members of the Palestinian Social and Cultural Association in Poland have said that the behavior of the Israeli Embassy was inappropriate and asked the ministry to look into the incident, which also will be discussed in parliament during an upcoming meeting of the Polish-Palestinian parliamentary group.

Omar Faris of the Palestinian cultural group wanted to meet with high school students in Tarnow, a southern Polish city.  An Israeli Embassy spokesman said the embassy did not ask for the meeting to be canceled.

"The member of our staff responsible for education about Israel was surprised that such a meeting takes place in the school," Michal Sobelman, an Israeli Embassy spokesman, told JTA. "He decided to call the headmistress of that school to say that showing to young people only the Palestinian point of view on the Middle East may show in a false way the State of Israel. But absolutely no one from the embassy demanded to cancel the meeting."

Faris said he wanted to talk about "breaking the fundamental human rights of Palestinians and the difficult situation of the inhabitants of the region," he told the Gazeta.

"I believe that Palestine and Israel should strive for peaceful coexistence in the Middle East," he said.

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