Morawiecki's comment about "Jewish perpetrators"

A remark made on the fringes of the Munich Security Conference has led to a diplomatic row. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted with outrage to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's comment that in addition to the German criminals there were "Polish, Russian, Ukrainian and Jewish perpetrators" during the Nazi era, saying that he would speak to Morawiecki. Is the indignation justified?

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Dangerous polarisation

False national pride has created a frosty climate in Poland's international relations, Corriere della Sera complains:

“Words like iron razors are being uttered in this harsh winter full of conflict over a divisive past. First the Holocaust law was passed. ... Then came Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's remark at the Munich Security Conference about 'Jewish perpetrators' in the Holocaust which provoked an immediate reaction from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ... This is a dangerous polarisation in which everyone speaks a different language and politics and a misconceived national pride take precedent over the historical truth.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

What an ignoramus!

Gazeta Wyborcza is appalled by Morawiecki's remark:

“How arrogant, ignorant and politically clumsy can someone be to say what the prime minister said in Munich? ... Who are these 'Jewish perpetrators'? Did he mean the members of the Auschwitz special commando, the Jews who were selected to work in the crematorium? ... It's hard to guess whom Morawiecki was referring to. But on such a sensitive issue you have to be very precise. ... More out of conviction than unintentionally the Polish prime minister equated the behaviour of a handful of Jews with the crimes of the Germans and the behaviour of not such a small number of Poles, Ukrainians and Russians. He ignored the details that prove that such a comparison is not only unjustified, but damages the reputation of he who makes it.” (PL) /

Israelis don't want to hear the truth

The pro-government news portal, on the other hand, counters that Israel is refusing to acknowledge the truth about World War II:

“Netanyahu's reaction to the comments Morawiecki made at the press conference in Munich is the result of years of submissiveness vis-à-vis Israel. ... The Israelis feel superior and believe only their version of World War II exists: the Poles were complicit in the Holocaust. Facts don't play a decisive role here. ... It doesn't matter that there were Poles who risked their lives to save Jews. They want us to talk only about the informants - of whom there were indeed some. Any attempt to recall the reality under German occupation, as our prime minister has done, provokes an aggressive reaction from Jewish circles.”