World Briefs: Israel Says ‘Crisis’ With Poland Over and more


Israel Says ‘Crisis’ With Poland Over, Countries Agree to Resume Student Trips to Holocaust Sites
After a warm meeting with his Polish counterpart on March 22, Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen declared that the years-long “crisis” in relations between the two countries was over, reported.

Meeting in Warsaw, Cohen and Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau signed an agreement stating that Israeli youth trips to Holocaust sites in Poland would resume — rebooting a longstanding program that was called off last year as part of a series of ongoing diplomatic spats. The Times of Israel reported that Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, will have to approve the agreement for it to go into effect.

Poland also agreed to return its ambassador to Israel shortly. The Polish envoy was recalled in 2021.

In 2018, Poland’s right-wing government caused a rift between the two countries by passing a law that made it illegal to accuse the Polish nation of having committed crimes during the Holocaust, a move that critics called a whitewashing of history. Then, in 2021, Poland passed another law that effectively closed off restitution claims by descendants of families that had lost property during the war.

Israeli politicians, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, harshly condemned both moves, and for a time Israel recalled its ambassador to Warsaw. Poland’s prime minister canceled a trip to Israel in 2019.

Israel Ranked Fourth-happiest Country in World
Israel is the fourth-happiest country in the world, up from ninth a year ago, according to a report produced by the U.N.-affiliated Sustainable Development Solutions Network, reported.

Based on Gallup World Poll data, the study leverages six key factors to help explain variation in self-reported levels of happiness across the world: social support, income, health, freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

The report named Finland the happiest country in the world for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Israel and the Netherlands. The United States ranked 15th. Afghanistan and Lebanon were the two unhappiest countries in the survey.

The report was released on March 20 to mark the International Day of Happiness, which was established when the U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/281 in June 2012.

Florida Bill Banning ‘Ethnic Intimidation’ Flyers Aims to Stop State’s Neo-Nazi Rise
Responding to a recent rise in neo-Nazi activity in his state, a Jewish lawmaker in Florida is trying to outlaw displays of “religious or ethnic animus” on private property in his state, reported.

H.B. 269 takes aim at a variety of activities that neo-Nazi groups in the state have undertaken, from distributing flyers with hate speech to broadcasting intimidating messages in public places.

Those groups’ activity has been rising in Florida for several years, according to a 2022 report by the Anti-Defamation League titled “Hate in the Sunshine State.” The report was published before the founder of the Goyim Defense League, which distributes antisemitic literature in public places and to private homes, relocated to Florida.

“We have actual Nazis who have proudly taken up residence in Florida,” the bill’s co-author, Rep. Randy Fine, told the Algemeiner. “The things that they are doing, all of which I find disgusting, are reprehensible, and we are going to make them felonies.”

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb

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