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MFA fires plenipotentiary for dialogue with Jewish diaspora

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PAP/Marcin KalińskiPoland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Minister of Foreign Affaires Plenipotentiary for Dialogue with the Jewish Diaspora Jarosław Nowak has been recalled from office. In an interview for "Jewish News" a few days ago, Nowak criticised Polish government's policy on Jewish minorities, calling an amendment to law on IPN from 2018 "one of the stupidest amendment ever".

Jarosław Nowak was appointed Minister of Foreign Affaires Plenipotentiary for Dialogue with the Jewish Diaspora in early July of last year. Foreign Ministry spokesman Łukasz Jasina informed on Monday that Nowak was dismissed after minister Zbigniew Rau's decision from January 8.

Criticism of the government

Jarosław Nowak criticised Polish government's policy on Jewish communities a few days ago in an interview for British newspaper "Jewish News". He called an amendment to the law on Poland's Institute of National Remebrance (IPN) from 2018 "one of the stupidest amendments that were ever done by any law". He added that at some point Poland would have do something regarding restitution of Jewish property.

The amendment to the law on IPN, which Nowak was referring to, had been drafted already back in 2016, but the parliament had passed in early 2018. The legislation introduced among other things prison sentence for holding Polish state of nation responsible or partially responsible for the crimes committed by the Third Reich. The law also allowed going after foreigners residing abroad.

The change met with a strong backlash by Israel, expressed among others by the then Prime Minister Banjamin Netanyahu and former Ambassador to Poland Anna Azari. "This amendment is seen in Israel as an option to punish for testimonies of Holocaust survivors," Azari argued at the time.

Controversial bill passed and later changed

Despite a wave of criticism, the bill was passed by the parliament and signed into law by President Andrzej Duda in February 2018 . Changes came in late June of 2018, when an amended bill with controversial penalty rules removed was passed in an expedited procedure.

Later on, prime ministers Mateusz Morawiecki and Benjamin Netanyahu signed a joint Polish-Israeli declaration. One of its provisions underscores no consent to blaming Poland or the Polish nation for crimes committed by Nazis or their collaborators.

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Źródło: TVN24 News in English, tvn24.pl

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: PAP/Marcin Kaliński

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