MK Shelly Tal Meron, Addresses Polish Senate On Official ELNET Visit

Between January 24th to 27th, 2024, ELNET CEE hosted Member of Knesset Shelly Tal Meron (Yesh Atid) during her first ever visit to Poland. MK Meron’s mission was to raise awareness about the events that unfolded on Israel October 7 in and their aftermath, as well as to spotlight gender-based crimes perpetrated by Hamas. MK Shelly Tal Meron is an Israeli women’s rights activist, and a member of the Knesset’s Committee on the Status of Women. Recently, jointly with the coalition MK Boaz Bismuth, she launched a cross-party lobby to raise awareness and act on the release of the 136 hostages still being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Throughout her 4-day visit to Poland, MK Meron met with 26 people, from the top-level politicians, Israeli Ambassador in Warsaw, Jewish community representatives, and expert contributors in Polish-Israeli relations. She actively participated in all meetings, engaging in challenging conversations not only regarding the current situation in Israel but also exploring the history and future of Polish-Israeli relations. These discussions aimed at identifying paths for enhanced cooperation between the two nations.

The central event of her visit to Poland was the conference hosted at the Polish Senate by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Michał Kamiński. The conference, focused on the crimes committed by Hamas on October 7 and beyond and a call for immediate release of the hostages from Gaza, served as an informative session and a call to action for a broader audience, extending beyond the realm of politics.

MK Meron visited also the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, where she met the Chairman of the Museum Council and Holocaust Survivor Marian Turski, and engaged in the discussion regarding the challenges in the Polish-Israeli youth exchange programs.

MK Meron’s visit delved into a historical perspective, emphasizing the importance of understanding the complexities of the past while emphasizing the need to prioritize future cooperation between Poland and Israel. The overarching message conveyed was that, while acknowledging historical nuances, the focus should be on shaping a collaborative future.

In second part of her trip, MK Shelly Meron went to Krakow to attend a discussion on Israel post-October 7, meet with the students, and get to know the rich history of Jews in Poland before WW2. An additional poignant moment during the visit was a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, where she also attended the ceremony commemorating the 79th-anniversary the liberation of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. 

MK Shelly Meron’s visit was another example of ELNET’s complex work, encompassing diplomatic engagements, historical reflection, and a call for collective action towards a more collaborative future between Poland and Israel.