VIEWPOINT: Poles apart

The Poles are obviously correct that the Germans and not the Poles perpetrated the Holocaust and therefore the term Polish death camps is a misnomer.

March 7, 2018 14:33
4 minute read.
A FLAG and flowers are left at a monument in Warsaw, Poland

A FLAG and flowers are left at a monument in Warsaw, Poland that commemorates the uprising in the city’s Jewish ghetto in 1944.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

THE CURRENT acrimony between Israel and Poland over a law passed by the Sejm criminalizing assertions that Poland bears some responsibility for the Holocaust aggravated by the frenetic attempts of senior Polish officials to somehow rationalize the law has compelled me to rethink my positions. I have long favored testing expanded ties between Israel and European sovereignists, who oppose a federal Europe run from Brussels and maintain their belief in the nation state. The Polish case appears to strengthen the argument of those who warned of the ultimate futility of such attempts because such parties particularly those with antisemitic antecedents are deemed incorrigible. Knesset member Tamar Zandberg of Meretz disparaged nationalist Knesset members as friends of Nazis because like myself they wanted to extend the benefit of the doubt to populist parties in Europe.

It is all too easy to answer Zandberg in kind and point to her Holocaust denying friends in Ramallah, who refuse to accept Israel as a Jewish state (at best they are prepared to recognize a fictional “Israeli people”). But I understand why she and her colleagues desperately cling to the hope of an eventual Palestinian partner ,as they regard the annexationist alternative as the worst possible outcome.


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