Statement of POLIN Museum on the Israel-Hamas War
On October 7, 2023, Hamas terrorists launched an attack on Israel. They committed barbaric crimes—in kibbutzim, on the streets, in people’s homes—murdering 1,200 people, including children, women, and the elderly. Over 200 Israelis were taken hostage, among them Alex Dancyg, an associate and dedicated friend of POLIN Museum. There is no justification for this massacre. It must be condemned unequivocally.
Israel has a particular significance for POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. For centuries, Jews across the Diaspora had dreamt of returning to the Land of Israel. Survivors of the Holocaust, many of them Polish Jews, played a vital role in establishing the State of Israel.
POLIN Museum stands in solidarity with Israelis and with Jews worldwide in condemning the shocking events of October 7. The Jewish state has the right to exist. To attest otherwise is antisemitic. We find the upsurge of hate speech and violence against Jews across the globe deeply concerning. Rest assured, POLIN Museum will redouble its efforts to fight antisemitism.
This is no time to be indifferent. We wish to express our deepest sympathy for the tragedy of Palestinian civilians. They are innocent victims of the war which has claimed thousands of lives on both sides over the past decades. As an institution that is aware and critical, we do not shy away from a debate on the sources, course, and consequences of the conflict in the Middle East. We do hope that a political solution, rather than violence, can bring about the peaceful coexistence of Israelis and Palestinians.
The history of Polish Jews presented at POLIN Museum testifies to the inviolable principle that human rights are for everyone in all circumstances.