Polish delegation comes to Israel to discuss controversial Holocaust law


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Polish delegation arrived in Israel to come to an understanding between the two countries on the controversial Holocaust law.

The delegation will meet on Thursday with a team headed by the Director-General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Yuval Rotem. Both delegations are made up of historians, journalists, lawyers and diplomats, the Foreign Ministry said. Israel’s delegation includes representatives of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center.

“The purpose of the dialogue is the preservation of the historical truth and to forestall any detrimental impact on freedoms of research and expression,” the ministry said in a statement.

The law, an amendment to the National Institute of Remembrance, which takes effect at the end of the month, criminalizes claims that the Polish nation or state was responsible for Nazi crimes. Violators could face up to three years in prison, though government officials say prosecution under the law is unlikely.

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed the controversial legislation earlier this month after both houses of parliament passed the measure. He also sent law for review to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, which has not yet issued a ruling.

Critics of the law include Israeli leaders, Yad Vashem, the U.S. State Department and Jewish groups.