US ambassador to Poland calls on Israeli minister to apologize for saying Poles are suckled on anti-Semitism


(JTA) — The U.S. ambassador to Poland called on Israel’s acting foreign minister, Yisrael Katz, to apologize to the Central European country for remarks that have led to a diplomatic crisis.

“I just felt that two strong allies like Israel and Poland, of course they are strong allies of the United States, shouldn’t be using that kind of rhetoric,” U.S. Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher said on Wednesday. “We are too important to each other not to work these things out.”

Katz was appointed to his position on Sunday. A day later Katz, the son of Holocaust survivors, said in an interview that “Poles collaborated with the Nazis, definitely. As Yitzhak Shamir said, they suckle anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk.” He called it something “we will never forgive and never forget.”

Following Katz’s remarks, Poland pulled out of a summit of Central European countries that was to be held in Israel this week. The summit was downgraded to bilateral meetings.

Mosbacher assumed her ambassadorship in September. During her confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, she said that Poland’s recently passed law that made it a crime to accuse Poland of complicity in the Holocaust had contributed to the rise of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe.

Poland objected to her comments but said her credentials would be accepted if she were confirmed as envoy to Poland.

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