There have been no agreements in the talks between the Polish delegation and Israeli officials on the Holocaust bill on Thursday, said a Friday report. Both sides reportedly concluded they must determine their range of flexibility on the matter.


Auschwitz Photo Credit: Ehud Amiton/TPS

No agreements have been reached so far in the first round of talks between Polish and Israeli officials on the Holocaust bill. The controversial Polish legislation went into effect on Thursday and has sparked a diplomatic rift between the two countries.

According to a source speaking with Israel’s Hadashot News, both sides concluded they must determine their range of flexibility on the matter. Israel has reportedly demanded that Poland remove the clause (article 55 in the bill) according to which anyone who publicly claims that the Polish nation was responsible or partly responsible for Nazi war crimes would be liable to a fine or imprisonment for up to 3 years.

The source explained that during the sessions, the Polish officials repeatedly claimed that the purpose of the law is to mend a historical truth, while the Israeli officials said the bill would “cut corners” in history. The source also cited the Israeli side as saying that Poland was opening a front “not only against the Jews and Israel but against the entire world – against Brussels, Moscow and Washington.”

Another anonymous source told Hadashot News that the talks involved heated discussions between historians on both sides. However, he added that the talks remained relatively measured despite some passing tensions.

The Polish government delegation arrived in Israel on Wednesday night in efforts to bridge the diplomatic rift between the countries. “We are here to answer all questions and provide requested clarifications,” said Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister at the start of the sessions on Thursday.