Poland seeks explanation for insult, assault on envoy in Israel

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Poland's foreign ministry says it has summoned Israel's ambassador to the country to explain why the Polish ambassador to Israel was assaulted and insulted on the streets of Tel Aviv. 

The incident comes amid a bitter standoff between Poland and Israel over how to remember the Holocaust and over demands that Poland pay reparations for former Jewish properties that were seized by Nazi Germany and later nationalized by Poland's communist regime. 

Ewa Suwara, the ministry spokeswoman, said Israeli ambassador Anna Azari was summoned to the ministry today over the assault on Tuesday of Marek Magierowski. 

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon, said the assault was being investigated and expressed "fullest sympathy to the ambassador and our shock at the attack.''

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has condemned the  “racist” and “xenophobic” attack in a tweet.

The suspect was identified as Arik Lederman, 65, the Times of Israel reported.

The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court released Lederman from custody, saying the case was not complex and there was little risk that Lederman would be able to obstruct the investigation.

“There is no doubt,” Judge Alaa Masarwa’a wrote, “that an assault and spitting at a diplomatic personage is contemptible, and makes the [assailant] an embarrassment to the rest of Israel’s citizens.”-AP