(JTA) — Polish President Andrzej Duda dismissed as a “journalistic manipulation” reports of a new diplomatic crisis between his country and Israel over Benjamin Netanyahu’s reference to Polish collaborators with the Nazis.
The reports Thursday were over Israeli media’s quoting of the Israeli prime minister as saying during a talk with reporters: “Poles collaborated with the Nazis, no one ever contradicted that. I’m saying it right now, it’s undisputed.”
Some media in Israel and Poland misquoted Netanyahu as having said “the Poles” and even “The Polish nation,” but his spokesperson and Anna Azari, Israel’s ambassador to Poland, denied this. A spokesperson for Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the prime minister was “looking into reports” about what Netanyahu said, the KAN news site reported. A Netanyahu spokesperson said one Israeli newspaper that misquoted Netanyahu has since corrected the quote.
Poland’s government last year passed a law that criminalized accusing the Polish nation of Nazis crimes. It triggered a diplomatic crisis between Israel and Poland, amid warning by Israeli state historians that the law will harm research about the Holocaust and limit free speech.
The crisis escalated after Morawiecki during a conference said that some Jews collaborated with the Nazis too. Netanyahu called this remark “outrageous.” The leaders resolved the dispute last year.
On Thursday, Netanyahu traveled to Poland, one of Israel’s closest allies within the European Union, to attend the Warsaw conference on peace and security in the Middle East, alongside many other world leaders, including from Arab countries.