Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki attends a commemoration event at the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz II-Birkenau, during the ceremonies marking the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the camp and International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Nearly half of Israelis view Poland unfavorably, according to a new survey published on Wednesday by Keevoon Research Strategy and Communications.
The survey, commissioned by Polish Ambassador Marek Magierowski, asked more than 1,000 Israelis over the age of 18 their view on Poland. A third (33%) said they view Poland “somewhat unfavorably,” while another 16% said they view it “very unfavorably.”
In addition, two-thirds (67%) of Israelis said that, “Poland has been reluctant to fully accept responsibility for the role its citizens played during the Holocaust.” Some 72% also agreed that Poles were victims of Nazi oppression, like Jews, though their suffering cannot be compared.
At a media conference earlier this week, Magierowski reacted to the survey, saying that while Poland does not deny that there were Polish nationals who collaborated with the Germans, Poles in general were not Nazis.
“History is inescapable,” he said. “We’ll always be talking about historical links between Poles and Jews, and the six tragic years in which Jews were killed in Poland by German Nazis, but there are other things in contemporary Poland to talk about.”
Magierowski pointed out that “the BDS movement is practically non-existent in Poland” and that “antisemitism has no political power” in his state. He underscored that Poland has condemned terrorist acts against Israelis, and that the country sees Israel “as our most strategic partner in the Middle East.”
Israelis, however, might not know that much about Poland. But according to the survey, one in three Israelis have visited Poland.
The poll was conducted by telephone with a margin of error of +/-2.15%. It was released this week, ahead of next week’s Warsaw Summit, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to attend as a keynote speaker.
The summit is being organized by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Also attending will be representatives of several Gulf nations, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman.
The following week, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will visit Israel for talks about new horizons in relations between the two countries.