We want Polish-Israeli relations to be good and based on mutual respect – said Paweł Jabłoński, deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in “Piasecki’s Conversation”. – I think that what we are doing, that is presenting the facts, may not have a great impact on the actions of those politicians in Israel who believe, for various internal reasons, that the flared conflict with Poland is profitable for them – he assessed.
Last week, the Sejm adopted an amendment to the Code of Administrative Procedure, which stipulates, inter alia, that after 30 years from the issuance of the administrative decision, it will be impossible to initiate proceedings to challenge it, e.g. in the case of property seized years ago. The adoption of the novel was met with a harsh reaction from the Israeli side. The Israeli Embassy in Poland assessed that the amendment “will make it impossible to return Jewish property or seek compensation” and that “this immoral law will seriously affect relations between our countries.” The head of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jair Lapid, also assessed that “the new Polish law is a disgrace and will seriously harm relations between the two countries.”
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In response, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a statement claiming that the statements of the Israeli side “indicate ignorance of the facts and Polish law”, and the act implements the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of 2015. The ministry noted that “the amended provisions will only apply to administrative proceedings, including re-privatization “but” do not in any way restrict the possibility of bringing civil actions for damages. ”
US State Department spokesman Ned Price called on Poland on Friday to suspend work on the amendment to the Administrative Procedure Code. He judged the law to be a step in the wrong direction in terms of the restitution of Jewish property.
On Sunday, Poland’s ambassador to Israel, Marek Magierowski, was summoned to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in connection with the act. On Monday, Tal Ben-Ari Yaalon, chargé d’affaires who heads the Israeli embassy in Warsaw, was summoned to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The deputy head of Polish diplomacy Paweł Jabłoński, after meeting with her, said that he “hopes that Israel will change its position” on the amendment to the Code of Administrative Procedure adopted by the Sejm.
Jabłoński: This is quite surprising for any rational person
Jabłoński was also a guest of Tuesday’s “Piasecki Conversation”. – We were aware that this law could be criticized by the Israeli side or other external entities – he said, adding that he was surprised, “knowing some statements of the current Israeli foreign minister in the past that this criticism would be so detached from reality, from the actual content of this law “. As he said, this is “quite surprising for any rational person.”
– I think that what we are doing, that is presenting the facts, may not have a particularly strong impact on the actions of those politicians in Israel who believe, for various internal reasons, that the flared up of the conflict with Poland is profitable for them – he added. – I have the impression that this is the cause of the conflict that broke out at the end of last week, that these are simply goals in domestic politics. The situation is very tense there. Four consecutive elections, huge difficulties in forming a government. I think that when you look at our internal political dispute, we sometimes say that it is incredibly inflamed in our country. Compared to Israel, it is truly idyllic, assessed the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
When asked if Ambassador Magierowski reached Israeli politicians and Israeli diplomacy with the message that the law would be passed and that it might cause some conflict, he replied that it did not work that way. – It is rather ambassador Magierowski or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who answers questions from the Israeli side. We do not consult, we do not have the habit, like any other sovereign state, to consult bills in advance with external entities – added Jabłoński.
– If we are friends, we also respect each other. I do not recall a situation where the Israeli Knesset ever asked Poland or any other country to consult a resolution it intends to pass, he said.
“We want Polish-Israeli relations to be good and based on mutual respect”
The deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “the Israeli side signaled its concern”. – It was then still a conversation about the facts, but at this point we are dealing with a situation where I have the impression that for these internal purposes it broke away from the facts, we began to be accused of denying the Holocaust – said Jabłoński.
– We were also aware that the new Israeli foreign minister, also due to his statements from the past, was not positive about Poland, but despite everything we did not expect that he would be ready to attack this type of attack – accusing us of trying to deny The Holocaust. A completely false thing and detached from the content of this law, said the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. – We are ready to talk, also about disputes, but this conversation must be based on facts. If it is distracted from the facts, if it starts with such accusations, it is difficult to have any kind of conversation – he added.
The deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized that Poland wanted “Polish-Israeli relations to be good and based on mutual respect”.
Jabłoński: the word “Germany” never appeared in the statements of Israeli politicians
Jabłoński was asked about the words of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who said on Friday that “as long as I am Prime Minister, Poland will certainly not pay for German crimes”.
The deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “the word ‘Germany’ never appeared in the statements of Israeli politicians” – but there was a cluster that Poland did not want to make amends to the victims of the Holocaust. Thus, in the perception of the reader or listener of such statements, Poland is associated with these crimes. You have to respond very strongly to it every time, because otherwise we will accept that this false narrative will perpetuate itself – he added.
Jabłoński argued that “if the statements of Israeli politicians referred to the essence of the law, and did not accuse Poland of wanting to refuse compensation to the victims of the Holocaust, then one could discuss”. – If we are accused of erasing the memory of the Holocaust, of refusing to redress, then it is the duty of every Polish politician to react to this and remind us of what the historical truth was – he stressed.
Asked whether the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the government are of the opinion that this amendment to the Code of Administrative Procedure should pass through parliament and be signed in its present form, he replied that “the law is very much needed”. – As for the final shape, whether the deadlines should be this or other, experts should speak here – he added. – If we hear rational arguments why this act should be changed, the deadlines should be extended or shortened – then I am ready to talk about rational arguments – said Jabłoński.
Deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: I am no longer surprised by such statements
The deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also asked in the “Piasecki Interview” whether the statements of Madeleine Albright, former US secretary of state, who spoke about the concern about the condition of Polish democracy, or former US President Barack Obama, who said that Poland was moving towards authoritarianism, they worried and inclined him to some reflections, he replied that he was not surprised, because “he sees that very often many politicians from other countries rely on partial, incomplete information about what is happening in Poland from the media, which are simply very biased” .
– I think this is a situation to which we have already got used to over the last six years. I wish it wasn’t, but that’s just the way it is. We live in such a political and media environment that each media has its own likes and dislikes. Anyway, they present this reality – he added. Jabłoński assessed that “Polish democracy is doing better than ever.”
Main photo source: TVN24