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Poland condemns anti-Semitism and attempts to deny Israel’s right to exist, Deputy PM tells forum co-hosted by WJC

WARSAW – Poland condemns “those who try to deprive Israel of the right to exist and those who commit crimes of anti-Semitism in any form,” Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of culture Piotr Gliński said Wednesday. Gliński delivered the remarks in a keynote address at the Third Polish-Israeli Foreign Policy Conference organized by The Polish Institute of International Affairs and the Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR), which operates under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress and the chairmanship of WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. 

In his address, Gliński spoke of the excellent bilateral relations between Poland and Israel and recognized the large number of Israelis of Polish origin who had played a signal role in the establishment of the Jewish State, such as David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin. He said that public safety is the basis for international order, but innovation is also necessary to improve lives and respond to needs and problems. Israel, he added, was a great example of a country that excelled at innovation. 

A capacity crowd made up of leading foreign policy practitioners and international affairs scholars attended the first day of the two-day event, which included sessions on international security, science and diplomacy, and the reconfiguration of alliances in the Middle East.  

In his opening remarks, ICFR Director Dr. Laurence Weinbaum paid tribute to "the grand old man of Polish democracy and diplomacy, Władysław Bartoszewski," who had played an important role in developing relations between the two institutions and who in Communist times had bravely upheld the uncensored history of Poland. “At a time when in certain quarters we are witness to shameless opportunism and the grotesque obfuscation of history, his legacy resonates especially strongly... Bartoszewski taught people that bellicose jingoism and intolerance should not be confused with true love of one's country, and that a society that gives way to its basest instincts is doomed to ruin, " said Weinbaum.

Weinbaum noted that the parley was taking place on the 70th anniversary of the UN vote on the Partition Plan, in which Poland cast its vote in favor, and in the very building (the fabled Hotel Bristol) that the first Israeli legation in Warsaw was established.

At the event's opening dinner, Undersecretary of State Marek Magierowski also sounded a positive note on Israel, stressing that Poland would always be supportive of it in international fora.

The second day of the conference will consist of closed-door roundtable discussions with experts from the two countries.


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