France joins US, Israel in Poland Holocaust law condemnation

France joins US, Israel in Poland Holocaust law condemnation

The United States, a close North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally of Poland, expressed disappointment at Duda's decision.

President Duda said the bill would protect Poland's interests "so that we are not being slandered as a state and as a nation".

Commentators have said that Israel is concerned that the new law could mean penalties for anyone who criticises individual Poles' role in the Holocaust.

He said he would also ask Poland's Constitutional Tribunal to evaluate the bill, including whether it should be amended. But it also takes into account the sensitivity of those for whom remembering the Holocaust is extremely important. But many Poles all over their country informed, handed over or participated themselves in the murder of some 200,000 Jews during the Holocaust and even afterward", the statement also said, adding: "Only a few thousand "Righteous Among the Nations" risked their lives to save them.

"Enactment of this law adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry", Tillerson said. Activists say the passage of the bill has encouraged a rise in anti-Semitism.

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Poland is the location of several former concentration campus, including Auschwitz-Birkenau, where 1 million people - nearly all of them Jews - were systematically killed in World War II.

"I have made a decision to sign the law but also to send it to the Constitutional Tribunal", Duda told reporters in Warsaw. The legislation provides exemptions for academic research and art.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the right-wing Law & Justice party, called for Duda to sign the legislation.

By refusing to veto the bill, Duda dashed the possibility of political negotiations, which Israel and the United States had still hoped for in recent days.

"No Polish law will change history, Poland was complicit in the Holocaust", tweeted Israeli politician Yair Lapid, the son of a Holocaust survivor.

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The global criticism follows the cancellation by Poland of an intended visit by Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who vowed to tell "the truth" about Warsaw's complicity in the Holocaust.

Tillerson said in a statement that Washington frowns upon Duda's authorization of the law. Referring to the killing sites Nazi Germany operated in occupied Poland with phrases such as "Polish death camps" is punishable by three years in prison.

The current debate over criminalizing Holocaust terminology comes at a time when many worry that racist and anti-Semitic sentiment is on the rise.

At least 3 million Polish Jews and 1.9 million non-Jewish citizens were killed during the Holocaust, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The law has also been protested in Ukraine because it could see penalties for anyone who denies crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists until 1950.

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