Poland says Noa Kirel accepted initiation to visit amid row over Holocaust remarks

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Poland’s deputy foreign minister said on Thursday that Israeli pop star Noah Kirel has accepted his invitation to visit the country after previously expressed “pain” On comments made by the singer at the Eurovision Song Contest.

“Thank you Noah Kirel for accepting my invitation to visit Poland,” Pawel Jablonsk tweeted in Polish and English.

“I hope that together we will use this opportunity to discuss history, to discuss the commemoration of the victims [the] How to inspire Polish and Israeli youth to learn about history and get to know each other – the Holocaust and other WWII crimes, and the future too. Against false stereotypes,” he wrote.

Kirel, who recently came third at the European Songfest, sparked controversy in the Eastern European nation, which includes Criticism From politicians and denunciations in Polish mediaWhen he described Poland being awarded 12 points as a victory for his family and the people of Israel.

“When Poland gives 12 points to Israel, after almost the entire Kirel family was murdered in the Holocaust, it is a victory,” Kirel Said Israel’s Kan news immediately after the competition.

“To get 12 points from Poland after the history of my family and the people of Israel in the Holocaust, such moments are really a victory,” he added in similar comments on the Ynet news site, when asked directly about the significance. The maximum marks are being awarded by Gaya Poland.

Kirel’s father’s family members were killed in Auschwitz. She visited the death camp with her father in 2019.

There was no immediate confirmation from Kirel that he has accepted the invitation. He has not commented publicly on the issue.

In a lengthy post on social media on Saturday, Jabłowski said he would invite Kirel to visit Poland “to understand why she feels the way she does about our homeland and to explain why.” [her comments] painful for us.

The incident touched off a long-running dispute between Israel and Poland over Warsaw’s ongoing efforts to downplay Polish responsibility for the persecution and mass murder of Jews in its territory during the Holocaust.

Jabłonski said that Kirel should come and “see with his own eyes the places where Nazi Germany committed brutal crimes against Poles and Jews in our country.”

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłonski speaks to The Associated Press in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Jabłonski highlighted the Israeli youth’s visit to Poland, saying that they gave Israelis the wrong picture of the Holocaust.

The visits are at the heart of a recently signed agreement between Israel and Poland to restore long-strained diplomatic ties.

that deal It has faced widespread criticism in Israel, which says it supports the Polish stance, despite scholars noting significant evidence of collaboration by Poles with the Nazi regime.

The agreement is a step towards normalizing relations with Poland, which until several years ago was one of the most pro-Israel countries in the European Union. Relations deteriorated after Poland passed a law in 2018 making it illegal to blame the Polish nation for Nazi crimes. Yair Lapid, the then foreign minister called the law anti-semitictouching a diplomatic row.

The agreement would allow Israeli student groups to visit a list of Polish-recommended sites that critics say provide a distorted view of the Holocaust, ignore Polish complicity in the Holocaust and exaggerate Poles’ efforts to save Jews. Are.

People take part in the ‘March of the Living’, a trek between two former Nazi-run death camps in Oswiecim, Poland, on April 18, 2023 to mourn the victims of the Holocaust and celebrate the existence of the Jewish state. (AP Photo/Michael Dyczuk)

Jewish Jews traditionally travel to Poland in the summer between 11th and 12th grade, visiting former Nazi camps to learn about the Holocaust and remember those killed. The trip has long been considered a rite of passage in Israeli education and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 40,000 Israeli students participated each year.

Poland was the first country to be invaded and occupied by the regime of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during World War II and never had an allied government. Members of Poland’s resistance and government-in-exile fought to warn the world about the mass murder of Jews, and thousands of Poles risked their lives to help Jews.

However, Holocaust researchers have collected ample evidence of Polish people who murdered Jews who were fleeing the Nazis, or of Polish blackmailers who preyed on helpless Jews for economic gain.

Six million Jews, including nearly 3 million Jews in all of Poland, were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust, and the major Nazi death camps were in Poland.

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