• Graffiti appeared day after Polish prime minister said Jews were among perpetrators of the Holocaust.
  • Dispute stems from Poland's new law which criminalises accusing Poles of complicity in the Holocaust.

Swastikas were drawn on the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv on Sunday (18 February), the latest aggravation in the two countries' ongoing argument about Poland's new Holocaust law.

On 1 February, Poland passed a new law that makes it illegal to accuse Poles of complicity in the Holocaust. The law also criminalises describing Nazi concentration camps in Poland as "Polish."

Whoever accuses the Polish state of being "responsible or complicit in the Nazi crimes committed by the Third German Reich" is subject to a fine or faces up to three years in prison.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described the law as an attempt to rewrite history and Holocaust denial.

Since the legislation was introduced, tensions between Israel and Poland have continued to mount.

On Saturday (17 February), Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki suggested that Jews were among the perpetrators of the Holocaust.

When asked by an Israeli journalist whether Poland would consider him a criminal for reporting that a Polish family had betrayed his Jewish family to the Nazis, Morawiecki commented: "Of course it would not be punishable or criminal if you say there were Polish perpetrators, just like there were Jewish perpetrators, like there were Russian perpetrators, like there were Ukrainians, not just German perpetrators."

His comments sparked outrage, with Netanyahu commenting that they reflected a "lack of understanding of history and lack of sensitivity to the tragedy of our people."

Morawiecki apologised for his remarks through a spokeswoman, saying that he did not mean to blame Jewish victims for "a Nazi German perpetrated genocide."

A day after Morawiecki made his remarks, swastikas appeared on the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv. The symbols were found drawn across the gates and bulletin boards of the embassy. So far no one has claimed responsibility for vandalising the diplomatic building.

Authorities in Tel Aviv said a police investigation is underway.

Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
1.1 million people, predominantly Jews, lost their lives at the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland during World War II. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images