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Czech Republic Joins With Poland To Make It Official: The Visegrad Conference In Israel Is Cancelled

The official signing ceremony for the Visegrad group in 1991, shortly after the liberation of Eastern Europe from Soviet control
Copyright: Péter Antall [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

In a blow to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s efforts to remake Israel into a center of worldwide diplomacy, the Visegrad conference that was planned to take place in Israel later this week has now been cancelled. The cancellation follows the announcement by Poland, the largest member of the Visegrad group of Eastern European countries that it was withdrawing from its participation in the conference following remarks by Netanyahu and interim foreign minister Katz as to Polish responsibility for the genocide of Polish Jewry during the Holocaust. Poland maintains that it was a victim of Nazi Germany and bears no responsibility for the near total annihilation of its Jewry, a group that numbered three million people or a full 10% of the pre-war Polish population. The official position held by Israel and many individual Jews is that Poland, while not primarily responsible, was an accessory after the fact in so far as many Polish citizens willingly assisted the Nazis in their genocidal endeavors and to this day benefit form property unlawfully looted from its Jewish owners.

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