Consular Information Embassy Bilateral cooperation
Poland and Israel are bound together by numerous political, economic and social ties. In 2011, our political relations were upgraded to the highest possible level of government-to-government dialogue. We also have significant ties in the fields of military, economy, culture and education. Most importantly, we put considerable effort to develop our people-to-people relations via youth exchange programs and a variety of projects for older citizens. For example, a massive Polish-Israeli cultural and artistic buzz took place a few years ago during the “Polish Year” in Israel. Hundreds of Israeli artists and art curators visited Poland, and hundreds of thousands of Israelis participated in artistic events performed by Polish artists. Our two nations are tied by a millennium of common history. Jewish culture influenced Poland very deeply, just as Polish culture influenced the Jewish world and Israel. Someone once said that Poland and Israel cannot simply have normal relations, but that they either have to be extremely good or nonexistent. The fact of the matter is that our relations are not just good, they are prospering.
A few words about history: Poland voted for the UN Partition Plan for Palestine and recognized the Israeli Declaration of Independence in May 1948. It broke diplomatic relations with the Jewish state after the Six-Day War, following the lead of other countries of the Soviet-controlled Eastern Bloc. Poland was the first Warsaw Pact country to initiate contacts with Israel again in 1986. Full diplomatic relations were resumed in 1990 and Poland co-operated with the Israeli Authorities to facilitate the Jewish emigration (aliya) from the former Soviet Union to Israel and was active in revoking UN Resolution equating Zionism with Racism. The restoration of diplomatic relations led to expanding political, military, economic and cultural cooperation between both countries as well as closer people-to-people links.
Israeli leaders admitted that in Poland they had found one of the Israel's best friends in Europe. At the same time, much of Polish society also feels a special bond with Israel because of the millennial cohabitation of Jews and Poles. Taking into account this unique ties and strategic partnership between the two countries, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to hold the first intergovernmental consultations in Jerusalem, 24 February, 2011 to be followed by regular G-2-G meetings once a year.
Scientific cooperation between Poland and Israel - Polish Academy of Sciences concluded in April 2004 an agreement on cooperation with the Israeli Academy of Sciences. The signing of this agreement, however, did not result in acceleration of mutual cooperation and the establishment of new joint research projects. The impetus for the research relationship was the signing in 2010 an agreement on cooperation between the Polish National Centre for Research and Development and its Israeli counterpart, organization named MATIMOP. The second competition on the Polish-Israeli R&D projects had been announced by the signatories to the agreement recently. The new agreement between Poland and Israel on support of industrial R&D is under negotiation.
Polish Institute in Tel Aviv makes part of a chain of 22 Polish Institutes worldwide. The main goal of its activity is to spread knowledge about Poland and Polish culture among Israelis, with a special stress on contemporary Poland – a country which is ready to cope with difficult issues of the past and at the same time culturally one of the most flourishing and thriving places in Europe. We are relating to the outstanding Jewish cultural heritage in Poland, to the history of Polish –Jewish relations but at the same time we want to let the Israelis know more about contemporary Polish culture and society. The basis for the creation of our programmes of activity is the dialogue with Israeli partners. We are supporting direct contacts between Israeli and Polish artists and cultural institutions. To this end we organise study visits to Poland for Israeli curators and promoters.
Education is one of the pillars of our activity. We are working with Israeli guides who accompany youngsters on their trips to Poland and with teachers and informal educators. We organise various forms of meetings between young people from both countries, we support students exchange between artistic schools in both countries.