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Polish Embassy In Israel Vandalized With Swastikas As Shoah Law Fallout Grows

JERUSALEM/WARSAW, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Swastikas and profanities were daubed on the entrance to Poland’s embassy in Israel on Sunday after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Jews, as well as Poles and others, were among perpetrators of the Nazi Holocaust.

Poland sparked international criticism over its stance on the facts of the Holocaust when it passed a law imposing jail terms for suggesting the country was complicit in the deaths of millions of Jews during the war.

At the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Morawiecki was asked by an Israeli reporter whether the reporter himself could be penalized for telling a story in Poland about his mother, who survived the Holocaust, and told him that some Poles had collaborated with the Gestapo.

In his answer, Morawiecki equated “Jewish perpetrators” with Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and German perpetrators, drawing immediate criticism from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called his words “outrageous.”

Poland’s government said Morawiecki’s comments were not intended to deny the Holocaust or allege that Jewish victims bore responsibility for “Nazi German-perpetrated genocide.”

At the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv on Sunday, swastikas and anti-Polish profanities were found drawn in marker pen on a gate and bulletin board. Police, who released photographs of the markings, opened an investigation.

Netanyahu spoke by telephone on Sunday with Morawiecki and rejected any comparison between Polish and Jewish actions during the Holocaust, a statement issued by the Israeli prime minister’s office said.

“The aim of the Holocaust was to destroy the Jewish people and that every Jew, everywhere, was facing a death sentence,” it quoted Netanyahu as saying.

Netanyahu and his Polish counterpart agreed to continue to pursue a dialog on the new law, and that teams from both sides would meet soon, the statement said.

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