Israel cancels Poland youth trips, Lapid cites manipulations

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid: “They won’t tell us what to teach Israeli children.”

 A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR holds a Torah as he arrives at the entrance to Auschwitz for the annual March of the Living marking Holocaust Remembrance Day in May. (photo credit: KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)
A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR holds a Torah as he arrives at the entrance to Auschwitz for the annual March of the Living marking Holocaust Remembrance Day in May.
(photo credit: KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)

Israel decided to ban Israeli youth trips to Poland, claiming that Poles have attempted to manipulate the educative content presented to youth delegations coming on their school trip to Poland.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that “they (the Poles) can’t tell us what to teach Israeli children” at a briefing with journalists about the decision on Wednesday. 

"The relations between Israel and Poland were harmed because of Polish laws about the Holocaust," Lapid said. "The first [law] is from 2018 that prohibits discussing what Poles did in the Holocaust – not all of them – and the second is against restitution."

Lapid continued by saying that "The Poles wanted to mess with the content of the trips and what can or can’t be said to Israeli children visiting." 

He stated that Israel "will not allow this. It won’t happen. They can’t tell us what to teach Israeli children. That endangered the trips this summer." 

 Polish President Andrzej Duda in march of the living (credit: COURTESY JOSH ARONSON) Polish President Andrzej Duda in march of the living (credit: COURTESY JOSH ARONSON)

"They can’t tell us what to teach Israeli children. That endangered the trips this summer."

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid

Lapid added that even though the "education minister made the decision," it has "diplomatic ramifications."

Not all bad

Nevertheless, Lapid stated that the relations between Israel and Poland "improved" because "we cooperated on the Ukraine border, getting Jews out."

The Education Ministry announced the cancellation of youth delegations to Poland on Tuesday in an official letter sent to high school principals. 

The ministry explained that disputes had been discovered that prevented the delegations from properly and securely informing students while on the trip. 

As a result, the ministry banned educational institutions from holding delegations this coming summer. It explained that the decision was made due to disagreements regarding the security of the delegations.

"The Education Ministry has worked hard to organize the departure of youth delegations to Poland, and in light of this, tenders have been published that regulate this activity," the letter explained.

It was further stated that "there are issues that have not yet been resolved. These are issues that do not depend on the ministry."