'Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempts to build friendly relations with central European nations are being tested, on the eve of a Jerusalem summit aimed at showcasing the alliance, by disputes over Holocaust history.
Netanyahu has long been criticised by domestic opponents for seeking political alliances in central Europe while turning a blind eye to historical revisionism and antisemitism in the region. However, the Israeli leader was caught up in the dispute last week, when he said during a visit to Warsaw that Poles had collaborated with the Nazis in the Holocaust.
Netanyahu is due to host a summit of the V4 group – Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia – in Jerusalem on Monday. This is the first time the bloc has met outside the region since it was founded in 1991.
Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, wrote on Twitter that if reports of Netanyahu’s comments in Warsaw were accurate, the summit should be cancelled, and offered to host the meeting instead. On Friday, the two countries appeared to have patched up their dispute, blaming the media for misinterpreting Netanyahu’s comments. The prime minister’s office said he had spoken of collaboration by “Poles”, meaning individual Polish people, not “the Poles”.
But the clarification did not appear to go far enough: Duda called Netanyahu to say he would skip the meeting and send his foreign minister, Israeli media reported.'
Read more: Warsaw-Jerusalem tensions rise over ‘Nazi link’ claims
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