British peer stands up for Poland amid tension with Israel

A British peer has written a letter in which he defends Poland’s position amid a rift in relations with Israel.

Lord Robert Anthony Carmichael Hamilton addressed the letter to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, but the newspaper refused to publish it, according to Poland’s website.

In his letter, Hamilton hits out at Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his recent criticism of a proposed Polish law to penalise those who accuse Poland as a nation of being complicit in Nazi German crimes during World War II.

Hamilton writes: “Benjamin Netanyahu states that ‘Israel has no tolerance for distorting of the truth, the rewriting of history, and denial of Holocaust.’ The statement refers to the proposal to make it illegal in Poland [to describe] … the concentration and death camps in Poland as Polish camps. It must be clear to Mr Netanyahu that the death and concentration camps in Poland during the Second World War were German camps.”

They were run by the government of Germany, not by the Polish government, which was in exile at the time, Hamilton adds.

According to Hamilton, “it is hard to understand why Mr Netanyahu levels that accusation against Poles.”

He notes that “the victims of German barbarism were Poles as well as Jews” and that “the penalty in occupied Poland for helping a Jew was death not only for [the] helper but for his family.”

Some Poles were “brave enough to risk this fate,” he reflects.

“I wonder if Mr Netanyahu would be brave enough to help a Pole were the situation to be reversed,” Hamilton concludes.

The Polish and Israeli prime ministers have agreed their countries will conduct dialogue amid tensions over the proposed Polish law on Holocaust responsibility.

Public broadcaster Polish Radio has launched a special educational website aimed at debunking misconceptions about Poland’s role in the Holocaust, at

Poland’s government briefed Israeli officials on the proposed law on Holocaust responsibility long before the contested legislation reached parliament in Warsaw, according to a report.



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