Appeals for dialogue in Poland-Israel Holocaust spat

(Xinhua) — As spat over Israeli officials’ remarks about Poland’s involvement in the Holocaust spirals, appeals for dialogue have been brought up, while the Polish side is still waiting for an apology.

“Both Israel and Poland are our important allies and friends. We call on our allies and friends to find ways to listen to each other,” read a statement of the U.S. Department of State quoted by the Polish Radio, appealing the two sides to engage in dialogue.

“I think we need to do everything to return to normal relations between Poland and Israel, to normal discussions. I think the foreign minister of Israel should apologize,” the spokesman of Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Wednesday during an interview with Polish Radio.

In an email exchange with American rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has spoken about friendship between the Polish and the Jewish nations.

“Poland is devoted to the Jewish people and the state of Israel,” Morawiecki wrote on Tuesday in the email quoted by The Jerusalem Post.

“I hope that we will finally come to terms with Prime Minister Netanyahu, but words like those by the minister of foreign affairs are totally unacceptable for Poland,” Morawiecki said.

Commenting on the diplomatic row, U.S. ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher said on Wednesday that Israeli acting foreign minister should apologize to Poland for his remarks.

Israel’s newly-appointed acting Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said on Sunday that Poles “collaborated with the Nazis” during World War II.

Since then, numerous Polish politicians have demanded an apology and Poland pulled out of a meeting of Central European countries and Israel scheduled to take place this week in Jerusalem.