Israel returns diplomat after positive steps by Poland

Israeli Charge d’Affaires Tal Ben-Ari was recalled in August, after Poland passed a law that would make it nearly impossible for Holocaust survivors and others to claim restitution.

 Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks during a news briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine October 12, 2020.  (photo credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO/POOL/FILE PHOTO)
Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks during a news briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine October 12, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO/POOL/FILE PHOTO)

Israeli Chargé d’Affaires Tal Ben-Ari to Poland is set to return to her post this week, after several positive steps taken by Poland, a Foreign Ministry source confirmed on Wednesday.

Ben-Ari was recalled in August, after Poland passed a law that would make it nearly impossible for Holocaust survivors and others to claim restitution for property seized by the Nazis and claimed by the communists, which Foreign Minister Yair Lapid sharply criticized. Poland recalled its ambassador in retaliation.

In the ensuing months, Poland took several steps that Israel viewed positively, including adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism, boycotting the Durban IV conference at the UN General Assembly and voting against the UN Human Rights Council resolution supporting the Durban Declaration, and speaking out against displays of antisemitism at a recent march in honor of Poland’s Independence Day.

In addition, this week, the Polish Embassy in Israel tweeted after a Hamas terrorist opened fire on Israelis in Jerusalem: “We condemn today the attack in Jerusalem. We share the grief of the family of the victim and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. Violence is not a solution.”

However, a Foreign Ministry source said that the move to send Ben-Ari back to Warsaw is not a diplomatic move equivalent to sending an ambassador, and her return was supposed to take place quietly, without an announcement to the media.

 Poland's President Andrzej Duda attends a ceremony marking the anniversary of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against Nazi occupants in Warsaw, Poland July 31, 2021. (credit: MACIEK JAZWIECKI/AGENJA GAZETA VIA REUTERS) Poland's President Andrzej Duda attends a ceremony marking the anniversary of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against Nazi occupants in Warsaw, Poland July 31, 2021. (credit: MACIEK JAZWIECKI/AGENJA GAZETA VIA REUTERS)

Ya’acov Livne was appointed ambassador to Poland before tensions between Jerusalem and Warsaw spiked, and has yet to be sent to his post.

Poland’s former ambassador to Israel Marek Magierowski was posted to Washington and his replacement has yet to be announced.