Polish officials cancelled joint Israeli-Polish Holocaust remembrance ceremony after the Israeli Foreign Ministry recommended to not change speech scheduled to be given by Kiryat Bialik mayor, explaining Israel’s unwillingness to compromise on historical facts.
– Israel’s Foreign Ministry has contacted the Polish Foreign Ministry regarding the incident.
By TAMARA ZIEVE
The new Polish “Holocaust law” was felt by Israeli students in Poland Monday, when a joint Israeli-Polish Holocaust remembrance ceremony was cancelled after Polish authorities tried to censor the speech of an Israeli mayor.
Kiryat Bialik Mayor Eli Dukorsky had been set to address a delegation of students from his city who were visiting Poland. His speech included personal accounts of the Holocaust and references to Polish bystanders and collaborators, as well as Righteous among the Nations.
But before he delivered his speech, the mayor of Kiryat Bialik’s Polish “twin city” Radomsko, Jarosław Ferenc, with whom he was to participate in a joint ceremony, told him that local authorities had asked to review the speech.
The Israeli mayor obliged to the request and the Polish mayor subsequently asked him to remove parts of the speech that referred to Polish complicity in the Holocaust.
Dukorsky consulted the Israeli Foreign Ministry on how to proceed, and the ministry advised him to refuse the censorship of his text. As a result, the Polish officials cancelled the ceremony, according to Israeli media.
In a statement sent to The Jerusalem Post, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said: “Indeed, the mayor of Kiryat Bialik approached me and after consulting with the professional staff of the Foreign Ministry, Israel is not prepared to compromise on historical facts. In remembering painful events from the Holocaust, there is no intention to blame the entire Polish nation. It’s important that we continue in an open and honest dialogue between the two sides. I am sorry to hear that the Radomsko municipality in Poland canceled the joint ceremony.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has contacted the Polish Foreign Ministry regarding the incident.
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