Commentary

V4 summit in Jerusalem cancelled due to Polish-Israeli Holocaust crisis

The Visegrad Four stand by PM Mateusz Morawiecki’s decision to not participate in the V4 summit in Jerusalem. “If we have managed to convince other members of the Visegrad Group to our position, then we can call it a success,” claimed an expert.

“Since the words of Israel’s Foreign Minister were so harsh, they required an equally harsh answer,” Artur Sikorek, an expert from the Institute of Middle and Far-Eastern Studies of the Jagiellonian University told PolskieRadio24.pl. “PM Morawiecki’s decision to resign from participating in the summit was warranted.”

The summit of the Visegrad Group - Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - planned in Jerusalem on Monday and Tuesday has been called off. There will be bilateral meetings with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu but the Polish delegation will be not present. 

PM Morawiecki’s decision to resign from participating in the summit was warranted

The Polish PM announced the decision on Twitter: “This morning I forwarded the notion concerning the summit of the Visegrad Group to the PMs of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The important decision to move our meeting with Israel shows, that the V4 is united and there is no allowance from us for such baseless and racist attacks on any of the partners.”

According to Artur Sikorek, Netanyahu’s and other Israeli politicians’ recent harsh words towards Poland are being used for internal politics, as Israel will hold parliamentary elections in April. Israel’s PM was trying to show, through the V4 summit, that he has allies in the EU.

Sikorek explained that the reaction of Israelis to their PM’s words is very divided: “The decision to accept the Polish-Israel declaration last year – after the Holocaust Law affair – was met with disapproval by some Israelis, who claimed that Netanyahu went too easy on Poland.” 

“The same group is currently happy with Netanyahu’s recent approach. Others claim that the recent statesman image Netanyahu is trying to create, has fallen off after the decision to cancel the V4 summit,” Sikorek added. 

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