Relations between Poland and Israel are in their deepest crisis in memory in the wake of Poland’s move to criminalize criticism of Polish collaboration with the Nazis during the Holocaust.
To understand why this state of affairs is dangerous, regrettable and difficult to resolve, it is important to consider it against the backdrop of wider European-Israel and European-Jewish relations.
Poland is a very antisemitic country. According to a 2008 Pew survey of European sentiments towards Jews, Poland is the second most anti-Jewish country in Europe (Spain is first). 36 percent of Poles express hostility towards Jews.
Poland’s anti-Semitism is a problem. But even with its extensive bigotry against Jews, Poland isn’t the worst country in Europe from a Jewish or an Israeli perspective, which just goes to show how hostile Europe is to Israel and to Jews.