Israel recalls top diplomat from Poland over restitution law

Israel recalls top diplomat from Poland over restitution law

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The Israeli government has recalled a top diplomat in protest of Poland’s restitution law that restricts Holocaust survivors from reclaiming property seized by the former communist government, The Associated Press reported.

The new restitution law signed on Sunday by the Polish president addresses appropriations that were done by the once communist government of the country from the end of World War II to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. 

Poland was the most populated country for Jewish people before World War II.

Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid told the AP that he instructed diplomats to return back home to Israel and said that their ambassador to Poland who had been scheduled to go to Poland will remain in Israel. 

Polish President Andrzej Duda denounced claims that the new law directly targeted Holocaust survivors.

“I unequivocally reject this rhetoric and say it with all my strength,” Duda said. “Linking this act with the Holocaust raises my firm objection.

The new Israeli government has top officials who are descendants of Holocaust survivors. 

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called the signing of the new measure “a shameful decision,” adding that the Polish government is continuing to harm those they hurt decades prior, the AP noted.