Poland’s senate on Thursday passed a controversial Holocaust bill, which was designed to defend the country’s image abroad but has instead sparked a diplomatic row with Israel.
The upper house of parliament voted 57-23, with two abstentions, to approve the bill, which sets fines or a maximum three-year jail term for anyone who refers to Nazi German death camps as Polish or accuses Poland of complicity in the Third Reich’s crimes.
The lower house of parliament, which like the senate is controlled by the governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, had passed the bill on Friday – triggering the protest from abroad.
Israel called for the bill to be dropped, seeing one of its provisions as an attempt to deny Polish involvement in Nazi Germany’s extermination of Jews.
Knesset lawmakers penned a proposed bill of their own Wednesday amending Israel’s law regarding Holocaust denial, so that diminishing or denying the role of those who aided the Nazis in crimes against Jews would be punishable with jail.