Poland spat: Swastikas drawn on Polish embassy in Tel Aviv

His statements, it said, "were by no means intended to deny the Holocaust, or charge the Jewish victims of the Holocaust with responsibility for what was a Nazi German perpetrated genocide".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday told his Polish counterpart that his remarks on "Jewish perpetrators of the Holocaust" were unacceptable and unfounded, Netanyahu's office said.

Heated debate over Poland's controversial Holocaust law has reached new levels this week after the Polish prime minister spoke of "Jewish perpetrators" during the Nazi era, causing outrage in Israel.

A statement by his office said Morawiecki's remarks to the Munich Security Conference a day earlier "should be interpreted as a honest call for open discussion of crimes committed against Jews during the Holocaust, regardless of the nationality of those involved in each crime".

However, the spokeswoman for Morawiecki's ruling Law & Justice party said in a separate Twitter post that Morawiecki "said the truth that is hard to accept by the Israeli side" and there's no need to apologize for the truth. "There is a problem here of an inability to understand history and a lack of sensitivity to the tragedy of our people".

Tzipi Livni, a Zionist Union MK and former foreign minister, said it was "moving to hear Ronen Bergman asking/attacking the Polish prime minister over the law that forbids mentioning the participation of the Polish nation in the Holocaust, as [Bergman] told his family story and received applause from the audience".

President Andrzej Duda has recently signed into force a contested law which could impose a jail term on anyone who accuses Poland of being complicit in Nazi German crimes.

In recent weeks, Israeli officials have sharply criticized the legislation that criminalizes blaming Poland as a nation for crimes committed by Nazi Germany.

Morawiecki also paid his respects Saturday at the Munich grave of fighters from a Polish underground military unit, known as the Holy Cross Mountains Brigade, that collaborated during the war with Poland's Nazi German occupiers. Netanyahu said today his government was "stable" and criticised the police investigation against him after detectives recommended his indictment for corruption, prompting calls for him to resign.

According to figures from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Nazis, who invaded Poland in 1939, also killed at least 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish civilians.

However, the more contentious point raised by the law is whether it will outlaw references to acts of individual complicity by Poles with the Nazis - something historians say there is clear evidence for.

"But we can not agree with mixing perpetrators with victims, because it would be first of all an offense to all the Jews and all the Poles who suffered greatly during the Second World War".

The unit, which was rooted in a far-right prewar political movement, had also fought Germans.

  • Joey Payne