(December 9, 2021 / JNS) Diplomatic tensions between Israel and Poland are on the rise again, despite under-the-radar attempts to resolve the ongoing crisis, Ynet reported on Wednesday.
The crisis reached a peak in August over a Polish restitution law that limited property claims from Holocaust survivors; as a result, both countries recalled their respective envoys.
In late November, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid instructed the chargés d’affaires of Israel’s embassy in Poland, Tal Ben-Ari Ya’alon, to return to Poland as a response to positive signals by Warsaw, the report said. Ya’alon had been recalled last summer after Poland’s president signed the restitution law.
In recent weeks, Poland’s government boycotted the anti-Israeli Durban conference sponsored by the United Nations, adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism and condemned an anti-Semitic hate display by far-right activists in the Polish city of Kalisz.
But Ya’alon’s return stirred anger in Poland, according to the report, since Israel did not officially announce it.
In addition, the report noted that Warsaw continues to remain upset over what it perceives as hostile Israeli statements, even banning senior Polish officials from meeting with Ya’alon.
One of them, for example, Lapid said on Aug. 14: “Today, Poland approved—not for the first time—an anti-Semitic and unethical law. Tonight, I instructed the chargé d’affaires of the Israeli embassy in Warsaw to return to Israel immediately for indefinite consultations. The new ambassador to Poland, who was due to leave for Warsaw soon, will not be departing for Poland at this stage.”
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