Israeli Embassy in Poland: Anti-Semitic Remarks 'Overflowing' Social Media, State TV Amid Holocaust Bill Crisis

'We cannot remain silent in the face of a wave of anti-Semitic attacks against us and Ambassador Anna Azari,' embassy says in rare statement

Ambassador of Israel to Poland Anna Azari speaks at a commemoration event in Poland, January 27, 2018.
Kacper Pempel/Reuters

The Israeli Embassy in Warsaw issued a rare statement in Polish on Friday following an outburst of anti-Semitic comments against the embassy amid the crisis over the Holocaust bill passed by Poland's senate early Thursday.

"We cannot remain silent in the face of a wave of anti-Semitic attacks against us and Ambassador Anna Azari," the statement said, referring to Israel's envoy to Poland.

According to the statement, most of the verbal anti-Semitic attacks against the embassy and the Israeli envoy were made on social media and Polish state television.

In a separate remark, the embassy said "anti-Semitic statements are overflowing the internet channels in Poland, but they have become present on the main stream media too."

The director of the state-run television station TVP 2, Marcin Wolski, went on air Monday and said that the Nazi death camps should actually be called Jewish. "Who managed the crematoria there?" he asked in a reference to the fact that death camp prisoners, usually Jews, were forced as slave laborers to help dispose of gas chamber victims.

Wolski was joined on his show by a right-wing commentator, Rafal Ziemkiewicz, who only a day earlier had used an extremely derogatory term to refer to Jews on Twitter. His comment was later removed.

The controversial bill seeks to criminalize allegations of the Polish nation's complicity in the Holocaust. The Senate passed the draft bill in the early hours on Thursday and it is now pending the approval of Polish President Andrzej Duda for a final signature.

The law has caused a storm of opposition in Israel and a diplomatic dispute between the two countries. Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz demanded on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recall Azari.