President Reuven Rivlin meets with Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz in Warsaw, on October 29, 2014. (Mark Neyman/FLASH90) President Reuven Rivlin meets with Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz in Warsaw, on October 29, 2014. (Mark Neyman/FLASH90)
Ewa Kopacz and Reuven Rivlin
March of the Living

Israeli delegation at entrance to Auschwitz death camp in Poland during March of the Living, 2014. (Yossi Zeliger/FLASH90)

The relationship between Poland and Israel is unusual in that it is not defined only by economic and military agreements, but also by cultural and personal ties.

February 27 marked the 25th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations between Israel and Poland. Although Poland was one of the first countries to recognize the State of Israel, ties were severed in 1967 by command of the Soviet Union. Poland again recognized Israel in 1986. Since reinstating complete diplomatic relations in 1990, the two countries have cooperated in many fields, as well as working together to increase Holocaust awareness.

In honor of the occasion, the spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying: “The restoration of diplomatic relations has led to expanding political, military, economic and cultural cooperation between both countries as well as intensive people-to-people contacts. The political dialogue between both countries has been raised to the level of intergovernmental consultations under the leadership of prime ministers. After this fruitful quarter century, Poland and Israel express satisfaction over their friendly and fruitful relations. Both countries are committed to further strengthening their bilateral co-operation and to solidifying the unique ties between the two societies, based on the almost thousand-year-long relationship between Poland and the Jewish people and resulting from present-day common interest.”

The relationship between Poland and Israel is unusual in that it is not defined only by economic and military agreements, but also by cultural and personal ties. Every year, thousands of Israeli high-school students visit Poland as part of their education about the Holocaust. Many youth delegations meet with young Poles in order to foster cross-cultural understanding. Poland is the fifth-most-prominent source of European tourists to Israel, and the Polish Institute in Tel Aviv serves to bring Polish art and culture to the Jewish state.

“Poland is Israel’s strongest ally in Europe,” said former Polish ambassador to Israel Maciej Kozlowski.

By United with Israel Staff

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