Poland ignores Israeli threat over bill

France said Wednesday Poland's new law making it illegal to attribute Nazi crimes to the Polish state was an "ill advised" move and aimed at safeguarding Poland's image overseas. Activists say the passage of the bill has encouraged a rise in anti-Semitism.

Jews from across the continent were sent to be killed at death camps built and operated by Germans in occupied Poland - home to Europe's biggest Jewish community at the time - including Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor. Using the phrase "Polish death camps" is also not allowed.

It has caused a diplomatic crisis with Israel, which fears it will enable Poland to whitewash the role of Poles who killed or denounced Jews to Germans during the German occupation of Poland during WWII.

The new law has been passed on Tuesday when President Andrzej Duda signed it, making it an act against the law to accuse Poland of complicity in the Nazi Holocaust.

"Unfortunately, it is not only the nationalists but also the whole Polish society which will have to pay the price", said Grabowski, who is also a member of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw.

On Monday evening, a small group of far-right advocates demonstrated in front of the presidential palace demanding that Duda sign the law.

The controversial bill prohibiting allegations of Polish involvement in Nazi war crimes during World War II has been signed into law by Polish President Andrzej Duda despite outrage in Israel and criticism in Europe and the United States. "A scholar associated with a university might be excluded, but what about a schoolteacher who shares some of the disgusting stories that happened in Poland?"

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday it would continue to discuss the bill with Poland. But many Poles all over their country informed, handed over or participated themselves in the murder of some 200,000 Jews during the Holocaust and even afterward", the statement also said, adding: "Only a few thousand "Righteous Among the Nations" risked their lives to save them.

"We hope that within the allotted time, until the court's deliberations are concluded, we will manage to agree on changes and corrections".

According to the statement, the UINR, which provided for the functioning of the Ukrainian-Polish forum of historians from the Ukrainian side, does not see any opportunities for continuing the work in the previous format, alternately in Poland and Ukraine.

Poland's right-wing government says the law is needed to protect the reputation of its citizens and make sure they are recognised as victims not perpetrators of Nazi aggression during World War Two.