Poland summons Israeli ambassador over Netanyahu’s Holocaust comments
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Poland summons Israeli ambassador over Netanyahu’s Holocaust comments

The Israeli premier, who had participated in a US-sponsored Middle East conference in the Polish capital on Thursday, landed back late Friday but created a short-lived spat with the Polish government when he appeared to implicate Poles in the Holocaust. However, a correction note issued by The Jerusalem Post alleviated the concerns of Warsaw that had been infuriated by the paper’s initial report, which quoted Netanyahu as saying on Thursday that “Poles cooperated with the Germans” in the Holocaust. Furthermore, the Israeli regime’s foreign ministry in a statement on Friday called the whole story a mere misunderstanding originated from the Israeli paper’s misquotation. “The prime minister’s comments concerning Poland were misquoted by The Jerusalem Post, which quickly issued a correction clarifying that an error had been made in the editing of the article,” it said. Nonetheless, Poland’s Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli Ambassador Anna Azari to Warsaw for a dressing down over the issue. Before being summoned, Azari made clear that Netanyahu’s comments had been misquoted.   “I was present during the prime minister's briefing and he didn't say that the Polish nation collaborated with the Nazis, he only said that no person was sued for speaking about those Poles who did cooperate with them,” she said in a Friday statement sent to Polish authorities. Prior to Azari's statement, Polish President Andrzej Duda had even suggested that the Visegrad Group summit due next week in Israel between Netanyahu and four central European counterparts could be reconsidered “in spite of the previous arrangements” if the Israeli premier had said what was originally reported. Duda further said that he was even prepared to make his own country the location of the summit as Israel was no longer a good place for the meeting. Later on Friday, Netanyahu’s office issued a second statement saying that he “spoke of Poles and not the Polish people or the country of Poland.” In its first statement, his office had said he had been misquoted by The Jerusalem Post. It seemed that the correction note and clarifications finally convinced the Polish government, which said late on Friday that Netanyahu’s statements had been misquoted and misunderstood by the media, thereby ending the spat. The sensitivities are high in Poland over the issue of its actions during the Holocaust.

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