Poland wishes to "Regulate" the Israeli School Holocaust Visits
Przydacz said the reasoning for not resuming the visits was in fact “because we believe that [they] should be regulated by an agreement between Poland and Israel.”
After Jerusalem declined to resume visits due to disagreements over curriculum, the Polish government now wants formal rules to regulate the terms under which Israeli schoolchildren pay Holocaust study visits to the country. One of the regulations in question is the presence of armed Israeli guards.
According to Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz, young Israelis were receiving a bad image of Poland due to the armed guards accompanying the youth groups. “There are also threads appearing [to suggest] that Poland is an antisemitic country and for that reason, it’s dangerous here,” Przydacz added.
A new intergovernmental agreement will state in which cases guards with loaded weapons can be present. The deal has been being worked on for months now. Przydacz stated that Poland would also like young Israelis to meet with their Polish peers and understand the Polish-Jewish history.
The trips are taken year round by young Israelis and have since been suspended during the pandemic. Just last week, Israel announced it would not resume the visits due to Poland’s right-wing government trying to control the curriculum. In response, Przydacz said the reasoning for not resuming the visits was in fact “because we believe that [they] should be regulated by an agreement between Poland and Israel.”
In recent years, the tensions between Israel and Poland have been getting spicier. Holocaust researchers have collected many pieces of evidence of Polish villagers murdering Jews fleeing from the Nazis. They have also found evidence of Polish blackmailers who would prey on the helpless Jews for financial gain. Poland was home to roughly 3 million Jews who were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust. Major Nazi death camps were in Poland.