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Israeli Opposition Calls for Recalling Poland Ambassador Amid Holocaust Bill Row

© AP Photo / Dan BaliltyIsaac Herzog, a newly elected leader of the Labor Party gestures during an interview in his office in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013
Isaac Herzog, a newly elected leader of the Labor Party gestures during an interview in his office in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 - Sputnik International
TEL AVIV (Sputnik) – Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recall the country’s ambassador to Poland Anna Azari after Polish lawmakers adopted a bill, banning attempts to impose blame upon Poles for crimes against humanity committed by Nazi Germany during World War II, including the mass murder of Jews.

The legislation, approved by the Polish parliament’s lower house on Friday, was condemned by the Israeli leadership, accusing authors of the legislation of attempting to change historical truth. Netanyahu said on Saturday, that he had instructed Azari to hold talks with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to express Israeli opposition to the law.

"I am calling on Israeli Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recall the Israeli ambassador to Poland to hold consultations concerning the law adopted by Poland. The law is unacceptable, in our point of view," Herzog, who chairs the opposition Labor Party, said late on Saturday.

Other Israeli opposition politicians, including ex-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and Yesh Atid, the former finance minister, also voiced criticism over the Polish bill.

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The new Polish legislation, which still needs approval of the upper house and President Andrzej Duda to become a law, forbids any mention of participation of the Polish nation in crimes committed by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust, particularly the use of phrases like "Polish death camps," where millions of people, mostly Jews, were slaughtered by the Nazis.

The bill prescribes up to three years inprisonment for attempts to link the Polish people to Nazi crimes. The bill also bans denial of the murder of about 100,000 Poles by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) during World War II.

Earlier, Netanyahu strongly condemned the new Polish legislation. "The law is baseless; I strongly oppose it. One cannot change history and the Holocaust cannot be denied. I've instructed the Israeli Ambassador to Poland to meet the Polish PM this evening and express my strong position against the law," Netanyahu said in a statement published on Twitter.

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