When an Israeli mayor refused to censor the speech he was supposed to deliver at a sister-city ceremony in Poland, the ceremony was canceled. The Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry backed the mayor, saying that it is against every censorship attempt.

Israeli and Polish flags at the Auschwitz death camp

Israeli and Polish flags at the Auschwitz death camp Photo Credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90

An Israeli mayor who was visiting Poland with students from his city planned to deliver a speech at a ceremony in their sister city, Radomsko. However, he was told by the local authorities to omit the portions of his speech that accuse the Polish nation of being involved in Holocaust crimes, and when he refused, the ceremony was canceled, Hadashot news reported Monday.

Kiryat Bialik Mayor Eli Dukorsky said that the request to review his speech came at the last minute, shortly before the ceremony was supposed to begin. Dukorsky said that he was surprised when the mayor of Radomsko politely told him that the authorities wanted to see his speech but complied with their request. Minutes later, the text was returned to him and he was asked to remove the parts that spoke about the Polish people who turned Jews over to the Nazis during the Second World War.

Dukorsky, a Holocaust survivor, contacted the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry, which instructed him not to comply with the request to change his speech. “We reject all censorship attempts,” Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon.

After the ceremony was canceled, Dukorsky held a different ceremony for the Israeli students and delivered his speech in full.