'Israel's Education Minister, who ahead of a planned trip to Poland said he was going to set the record straight on Polish complicity in the Holocaust, has seen his visit canceled amid a diplomatic row between Warsaw and Tel Aviv.
“The Polish government canceled my visit to Poland because I mentioned the crimes of its people. It was my honor,” Naftali Bennett said in a statement Monday evening. “Now the next generation has an important lesson to learn on the Holocaust of our people, and I will make sure that they learn it. This decision of the Polish government will have a large role in handing down the lessons of the Holocaust, even if they intended on achieving something else.”
Initially, when the education ministry announced his visit, Bennett said he was “determined to say explicitly [what] history has already proved — the Polish nation had a proven involvement in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust.”
“The message is loud and clear: The past cannot be rewritten and the future we’ll write together,” added Bennett.
Polish government spokeswoman Joanna Kopcinska told Polish news outlets Monday evening that “Bennett will not come to Poland in the coming days.” She clarified that the Israeli politician’s visit to Poland was never arranged with the office of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Polish media, meanwhile reported that Jaroslaw Gowin, the deputy prime minister, ordered that the Israeli minister's visit be scrapped.
Bennett's office earlier announced that he would visit Poland Wednesday. He was scheduled to meet with Gowin, who is also the Minister of Science and Higher Education, before speaking to students about Holocaust remembrance.
Bennett arranged the trip to Poland without coordinating it with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, but on a personal invitation from Jonny Daniels, a London-born Israeli activist for Holocaust commemoration, according to a report in Haaretz.'
Read more: Warsaw won’t listen to Israeli minister about Poland’s Holocaust ‘crimes’
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