Despite the quiet contacts and the fading of the crisis around the Property Claims Act, cold winds are blowing between the countries again. The Polish Foreign Ministry restricts contact and cooperation with the Israeli embassy. Criticism of Lapid: “Making mistake in managing the relationship”
Diplomatic tensions between Israel and Poland are renewed, despite the quiet contacts that have taken place recently between the two countries in an attempt to resolve the crisis that arose against the background of the law restricting property claims by Holocaust survivors.
Last summer, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid ordered the Israeli embassy in Warsaw, Tal Ben-Ari Ya’alon, to return to Israel in response to the Polish president’s signing of the law. Two weeks ago, Ben-Ari Ya’alon was returned to Poland in response to Israel’s response to a series of positive signals from Poland, calling for an end to the diplomatic crisis and reconciliation, And at the same time the Polish government and the president issued very harsh condemnations of the antisemitic incident in the city of Kalisz.
However, Ben-Ari Ya’alon’s return to Warsaw provoked anger in Poland, as Israel refrained from officially announcing it. This is especially against the background of the fact that at the outbreak of the crisis, Israel de facto expelled the ambassador to Tel Aviv, Mark Magyrovsky (meanwhile appointed Polish ambassador to Washington).
In addition, in Warsaw continue to be angry about abusive statements they claim in Israel against Poland. In order to demonstrate their protest, the Poles issued a directive prohibiting Ben-Ari Ya’alon from holding meetings with senior officials in Warsaw. In addition, the Polish Foreign Ministry instructed all government ministries to report to him on contacts with the Israeli embassy, and in any case to refrain from such meetings without his explicit recommendation. Polish sources explained that in the absence of an ambassador in Tel Aviv – even the Israeli commissioner would not be able to hold senior-level meetings in Warsaw.
At the same time, the Polish Foreign Ministry instructed the National Academy of Sciences and other academic institutions to report to them any contact with the Israeli embassy, or even with Israeli researchers, including the transfer of their telephone numbers. Media outlets in Poland reported that this was an unusual directive not previously issued by the Foreign Ministry.
Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski, on the other hand, argued that the directive should not surprise anyone, as government ministries are frequently reminded that they must consult their foreign ministry with the ministry responsible for diplomacy.
Former Polish Ambassador to Israel Agnieszka Magjiec Mizowska said this week that the Polish Foreign Ministry’s response looks like “an order from the Central Committee of the United Polish Workers’ Party to the members and offices of the People’s Republic. It can be seen on the surface. We are in a cold war. “The achievements of the last 30 years in Polish-Israeli relations have been erased.”
An Israeli source in the matter claims that Israel made a serious mistake in managing relations with Poland and emphasized that “it is a pity that Lapid stated that he would fold the Poles but forgot to consult with the Americans first. “Against Iran. The Poles are not forgetting and there is a possibility that we will see more steps in their direction.”
The Poles claim that they are acting in accordance with diplomatic rules, but in Israel they believe that this is a step designed to convey a message of resentment to Jerusalem.