Poland Is Responsible for Its Rift with Israel

Aug. 18 2021

On Saturday, the Polish government passed a law that effectively prevents Holocaust survivors and their descendants from pressing claims to property confiscated by the Nazis or by the post-World War II Communist regime. Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, roundly condemned the legislation and recalled the chargé d’affaires from the Israeli embassy in Warsaw. Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in turn responded with an angry statement of his own. Ruthie Blum writes:

To make matters worse, the country’s deputy foreign minister, Pawel Jablonski, said in an interview . . . that Warsaw is considering canceling Israeli school trips to Poland, where [students] visit Auschwitz-Birkenau as part of their Holocaust-studies curriculum. He asserted that “the trips do not take place in a proper manner; they sometimes instill hatred for Poland in the heads of young Israelis.”

He went on, “We are dealing with anti-Polish sentiment in Israel, and one of the reasons for this is the way in which Israeli youth are educated and raised. This propaganda, based on hatred of Poland, seeps into the heads of young people from an early age in school.”

Talk about chutzpah—or projection—not to mention delusion. As it happens, Israeli kids are not fed anti-Polish propaganda, certainly not in school. If any hear of horror stories about Polish anti-Semitism, they do so from their grandparents or other aging relatives, who experienced it firsthand.

To those who have urged Jerusalem to avoid alienating an allied country over an admittedly unjust law, Blum responds:

East European countries have been staunch supporters of the United States and Israel in a way that their counterparts in the Western continent have long ceased to be. . . . [But] Warsaw needs friends in the international community just as much as Jerusalem does, after all. Enacting anti-Semitic laws is not the way to keep the Jewish state in its corner.

Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, Holocaust restitution, Israel diplomacy, Poland

Iran’s Four-Decade Strategy to Envelope Israel in Terror

Yesterday, the head of the Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—was in Washington meeting with officials from the State Department, CIA, and the White House itself. Among the topics no doubt discussed are rising tensions with Iran and the possibility that the latter, in order to defend its nuclear program, will instruct its network of proxies in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and even Iraq and Yemen to attack the Jewish state. Oved Lobel explores the history of this network, which, he argues, predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution—when Shiite radicals in Lebanon coordinated with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s movement in Iran:

An inextricably linked Iran-Syria-Palestinian axis has actually been in existence since the early 1970s, with Lebanon the geographical fulcrum of the relationship and Damascus serving as the primary operational headquarters. Lebanon, from the 1980s until 2005, was under the direct military control of Syria, which itself slowly transformed from an ally to a client of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nexus among Damascus, Beirut, and the Palestinian territories should therefore always have been viewed as one front, both geographically and operationally. It’s clear that the multifront-war strategy was already in operation during the first intifada years, from 1987 to 1993.

[An] Iranian-organized conference in 1991, the first of many, . . . established the “Damascus 10”—an alliance of ten Palestinian factions that rejected any peace process with Israel. According to the former Hamas spokesperson and senior official Ibrahim Ghosheh, he spoke to then-Hizballah Secretary-General Abbas al-Musawi at the conference and coordinated Hizballah attacks from Lebanon in support of the intifada. Further important meetings between Hamas and the Iranian regime were held in 1999 and 2000, while the IRGC constantly met with its agents in Damascus to encourage coordinated attacks on Israel.

For some reason, Hizballah’s guerilla war against Israel in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s was, and often still is, viewed as a separate phenomenon from the first intifada, when they were in fact two fronts in the same battle.

Israel opted for a perilous unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, which Hamas’s Ghosheh asserts was a “direct factor” in precipitating the start of the second intifada later that same year.

Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: First intifada, Hizballah, Iran, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada