Poland Is Responsible for Its Rift with Israel

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

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy