The article is headlined “The Dirty Politics Behind Israel's Capitulation to Putin's WWII Revisionism.”
The piece by Ofer Aderet, published on the haaretz.com website on Thursday, refers to a ceremony later this month at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation from the German Nazis.
Polish President Andrzej Duda has said he will not take part in the World Holocaust Forum because the organisers had not allowed him to speak at the event, unlike his counterparts from Russia, Israel, Germany and France.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently suggested that Poland was partly responsible for the outbreak of World War II, and claimed that the Soviet Union helped “save lives” after it invaded Poland in 1939 following the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between the USSR and Nazi Germany.
The comments triggered anger in Warsaw. Duda accused Putin of “post-Stalinist revisionism” and of trying to shift the blame for the outbreak of World War II onto Poland.
Aderet writes in haaretz.com: “For months now, Putin has been waging a blatantly anti-Polish campaign, claiming, in part, that Poland played a part in the outbreak of World War II and that it collaborated with Nazi Germany. Soviet/Russian-Nazi German cooperation, which culminated in the notorious Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that divided Poland between the two occupying countries, is now being depicted by Putin as unavoidable and something that was actually meant to help Poland.”
Aderet adds that the decision to allow Putin but not Duda to speak at the upcoming memorial ceremony in Jerusalem “could be perceived as Yad Vashem and the Israeli government taking Putin’s side – a move that in this context amounts to tacit support for Putin’s distorted narrative concerning the division of Poland at the start of World War II and the whitewashing of Russia's handshake with Hitler.”
Aderet concludes: “Yad Vashem would have been far better off staying away from all this, by openly disavowing Putin’s recent statements and giving his Polish counterpart the chance to be heard too.”