Poland loses Israeli tour group due to 'outrageous' comments on the Holocaust

President Reuven Rivlin speaks at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem

Relations between Poland and Israel have deteriorated over legislation that makes suggestion of Polish complicity in the Shoah a crime punishable by up to three years in jail - a move seen by critics as an attempt to whitewash history.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki have discussed a scandalous Polish law at a meeting in Munich.

Mr. Morawiecki appeared to fumble his defense of the new law while responding to a question from an Israeli reporter about what kind of speech it restricted.

On Sunday, a day after Morawiecki's remarks, Netanyahu and Morawiecki spoke to each other by phone.

"Here we have a problem of the inability to understand history, as well as a lack of feeling for the tragedy of our people", Netanyahu tweeted late Saturday, adding that he would speak urgently to Morawiecki.

Poland's Foreign Minister on Monday demanded an explanation from Israeli authorities on how someone was able to deface the gates outside the Polish consulate in Tel Aviv with crudely-drawn swastikas and slurs.

"Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's speech was not meant to deny the Holocaust, nor to attribute to Jewish victims the slightest responsibility in the German genocide", the prime minister's spokeswoman said in a statement.

In defending a controversial law limiting rhetoric on the Holocaust, Mateusz Morawiecki once again angered Israeli politicians by saying that the genocide had "Jewish perpetrators".

Israel rebukes Poland PM for Holocaust remark
Benjamin Netanyahu: Polish PM's Holocaust comments 'outrageous'

The prime minister's "remarks were not aimed at denying the Holocaust or hiding its real perpetrators", Czaputowicz told private broadcaster Polsat News on Monday.

The Polish government hastened to put together an explanatory statement in a bid to allay fears that its leader was in any way denying the Holocaust. Netanyahu reportedly told his Polish counterpart that his remarks were unacceptable and that there was no basis for comparing the actions of Poles during the Holocaust to those of Jews.

Polish authorities say they just want to protect Poland from being depicted as a collaborator of the Nazis when the country was Adolf Hitler's victim and suffered through almost six years of war and occupation.

What happened in World War Two?

Israel has been furious about the new legislation, and there are plans to expand Israel's existing Holocaust denial laws.

Some 3 million Jews who lived in Poland were murdered by the Nazis during the Second World War - about half of all Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Kaminski himself drew fire from Jewish groups in 2001 when he said that Poland should not apologize for the Jedwabne pogrom, in which Poles killed hundreds of their Jewish neighbors on July 10, 1941. "The Polish state was not complicit in the Holocaust, but many Poles were".

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