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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Sunday, April 15, 2018

    Netanyahu Welcomes Poland’s Decision to 'Rescind' Parts of Holocaust Bill

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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayanhu welcomed Poland’s decision late on Wednesday to amend the controversial Holocaust Bill, which Israel has strongly condemned.

    Earlier in the day, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a bill abolishing criminal penalties of up to three years imprisonment for accusations against Poland and its people in Holocaust complicity.

    "I am pleased that the Polish government, the parliament, the senate and the president of Poland decided today to completely rescind parts of the recently legislated law that caused cause uproar and distress in Israel and in the international community," Netanyahu said, as quoted in the statement of his press service.

    The prime minister also welcomed the works that both Israel’s and Poland’s task forces have done to settle the row.

    "Our ties with Poland are very important and are based on trust. Israel and Poland share the responsibility of upholding the memory of the Holocaust. It is clear to all that the Holocaust was an unprecedented crime which was perpetrated by Nazi Germany against the Jewish nation, including the Jews of Poland. The Polish government has expressed understanding of the significance of the Holocaust as the most tragic chapter in the history of the Jewish people," Netanyahu underlined.

    Earlier, in his address to the upper house of the Polish Parliament, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki claimed that the initial version of the bill positively contributed to the discussion of the issue.

    "Without it, there would be no statements of the German chancellor and foreign minister, which clearly point out Germany’s guilt," the official said.

    Morawiecki also expressed hope that the amendment would lead to the improvement of Poland’s relations with the United States as the latter strongly criticized the Holocaust bill for repercussions for freedom of speech.

    Meanwhile, the United States applauded the decision by Poland to to amend the controversial bill. "The United States welcomes the Polish Parliament’s passage of amendments to its Institute of National Remembrance Law. This action underscores Poland’s commitment to open debate, freedom of speech and academic inquiry," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

    READ MORE: It’s Undeniable That Poland Partook in Holocaust – Israeli President

    The controversial bill, passed on March 1, provoked diplomatic tensions with Israel, Ukraine and the United States. Tel Aviv, in particular, is concerned that the law could trigger the prosecution of Holocaust survivors if they testify against individual Poles who allegedly killed or gave up Jews to the Nazis. For its part, Warsaw has considered the bill as a way to protect Polish people from false accusations of complicity in the Holocaust.

     

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    Holocaust Bill, Holocaust, United States, Poland, Israel
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