The Senate of the Republic of Poland marked Israel’s 75th Independence Day by hosting a conference titled “Poland and Israel: Common Roots and Values.”
The event was organized by the ELNET in cooperation with the Polish-Israeli Parliamentary Group.
It was inaugurated by Prof. Tomasz Grodzki, the Speaker of the Senate, together with the Speaker of the Knesset, MK Amir Ohana, who joined remotely from Israel. Both speakers emphasized the significance of the bilateral relations between the two nations.
The Polish-Israeli Parliamentary Group, consisting of 128 deputies and senators, was represented by Ms. Beata Małecka-Libera, the Deputy Chairwoman who also chaired the conference. Distinguished attendees at the conference included the Israeli Ambassador, Mr. Yacov Livne, as well as members of parliament and representatives from the Polish-Jewish community, including Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich and editor Mr. Marian Turski. A group of students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who were visiting Warsaw at the time, also participated in the opening of the conference.
The conference encompassed various discussions led by invited speakers on topics such as the Polish roots of Israel (Konstanty Gebert), everyday life in Israel (Julia Wollner), and Polish-Israeli relations (Ambassador Zvi Rav-Ner, former Israeli ambassador to Poland).
Key speakers shared their thoughts:
Prof. Tomasz Grodzki, Speaker of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, expressed his commitment to fostering dialogue and closer ties between Poland and the Jewish nation. He emphasized the intertwined destinies of both countries, with the Jewish community being an integral part of Poland’s history for a thousand years.
MK Amir Ohana, Speaker of the Knesset, expressed his gratitude for the event, emphasizing the strong relationship between the parliaments of Poland and Israel. He established the Israeli-Polish Parliamentary Group and hoped for continued cooperation to address global challenges.
Senator Beata Małecka-Libera, Vice President of the Polish-Israeli Parliamentary Group, highlighted her hope that the conference would strengthen cooperation between the groups and foster closer ties among the younger generation in both countries.
Ambassador Yacov Livne emphasized the shared history of Poland and Israel, acknowledging both the beautiful and challenging moments. He emphasized the importance of open and sincere dialogue between generations.
MP Michał Szczerba, President of the Polish-Israeli Parliamentary Group, emphasized the common values and historical roots shared by Poland and Israel. He underscored the need to leverage cooperation opportunities and strengthen these future-oriented relationships.
Konstanty Gebert, journalist and Jewish activist, discussed the impact of Polish Jews on the establishment of Israel and expressed the need to overcome past challenges and seize opportunities.
Julia Wollner, journalist and parent of Polish-Israeli children, introduced the contemporary image of Israel, highlighting its multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious nature. She described Israel as a vibrant country of modern technology characterized by family, joy, informal lifestyle, and self-confidence.
Zvi Rav-Ner, former Ambassador of Israel, focused on the biggest achievements of the State of Israel during its 75 years history.