Holocaust-related property bill prompts Israel to summon Polish envoy

Israel on Sunday summoned Poland’s ambassador to share its disappointment over a proposed measure critics say would make it harder for Polish Jews to recover property taken from them during the Holocaust, Reuters reported.

Poland’s lower house of parliament passed a draft bill Thursday that puts a statute of limitations on claims for property that was taken by Nazis, according to Reuters. 

In a statement issued last week, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid said that the proposed legislation will prevent Holocaust survivors and their descendants from receiving restitution for property that was stolen from them. 

“Preserving the memory of the Holocaust and being concerned for the rights of Holocaust survivors, including the matter of restitution of Jewish property from the Holocaust era, are central components of the State of Israel’s experience and its defined identity,” Lapid said in his statement. 

Lapid also took to Twitter where he responded to comments from Poland prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki saying that Poland wouldn’t pay for the crimes committed by Nazi Germany. 

“We are not interested in Polish money and the very hint is antisemitic. We are fighting for the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, for the pride of our people, and no parliament can legislate laws aimed at denying the Holocaust,” Lapid wrote. 

Polish Jews were one of the targets of Nazi Germany during the Holocaust and WWII. Three million Polish Jews died in that span, Reuters noted.

Poland deputy foreign minister Pawel Jablonski told Reuters that the nation has summoned Israel’s charge d’affaires in response.

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