J’lem hints will not down­grade Pol­ish ties

Jerusalem Post - - FRONT PAGE - • By HERB KEINON

Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu spoke this week with a se­nior ad­viser to Hun­gar­ian Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Or­ban about host­ing a sum­mit that would in­clude Poland’s prime min­is­ter, a sign Jerusalem does not in­tend to dra­mat­i­cally down­grade ties with War­saw fol­low­ing its con­tro­ver­sial law on the Holo­caust.

Af­ter a meet­ing on Tues­day with Jozsef Czukor, Or­ban’s na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser, the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice is­sued a state­ment say­ing that the pos­si­bil­ity was dis­cussed of hold­ing in Jerusalem in the com­ing months the next meet­ing of the heads of the four coun­tries that make up the Viseg­rad Group: Hun­gary, Poland, the Czech Repub­lic and Slo­vakia.

Ne­tanyahu at­tended the last Viseg­rad sum­mit in July in Bu­dapest and of­fered then to host the

next meet­ing in Is­rael.

Those four coun­tries are of­ten among the states Is­rael turns to when it wants to com­bat prob­lem­atic res­o­lu­tions and moves in­side the EU.

Diplo­matic of­fi­cials con­firmed that if Ne­tanyahu is talk­ing about host­ing the sum­mit, which would in­clude Pol­ish Prime Min­is­ter Ma­teusz Mo­raw­iecki, then that is a sign that Is­rael does not in­tend to with­draw its am­bas­sador from Poland to protest the re­cent pas­sage of the con­tro­ver­sial law crim­i­nal­iz­ing any­one who im­pli­cates the “Pol­ish Na­tion or Pol­ish State” for cul­pa­bil­ity in the Holo­caust.

In re­cent days, voices were raised in­side the Knes­set’s For­eign Af­fairs and De­fense Com­mit­tee calling on the gov­ern­ment to re­call the am­bas­sador to Poland to protest the law. One For­eign Min­istry of­fi­cial said, how­ever, that even if such a rec­om­men­da­tion were made, it would not be bind­ing.

The Knes­set, mean­while, in­vited the di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the Pol­ish par­lia­ment to par­tic­i­pate in a con­fer­ence of sec­re­taries-gen­eral of par­lia­ments from more than 30 coun­tries around the world that will be held in the Knes­set next week. The in­vi­ta­tion went out de­spite the For­eign Min­istry’s rec­om­men­da­tion that, be­cause of the cur­rent cri­sis, Poland should not be in­vited.

In the mean­time, while the an­gry rhetoric over the law in both coun­tries has sub­sided in re­cent days, Is­rael is wait­ing for the fi­nal de­ci­sion of the Pol­ish Con­sti­tu­tional Tri­bunal to see if the law will be amended in any form. Pol­ish Pres­i­dent An­drzej Duda said af­ter he signed the bill last week that he would send it to the court for ju­di­cial re­view, leav­ing open the pos­si­bil­ity of a last-ditch amend­ment to the leg­is­la­tion.

No date has yet been given on when the is­sue is sched­uled to come be­fore the court. •

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