ShamirForeign Minister Yitzhak Shamir today called on democratic countries to “act together to defend democracy” which was being “cruelly trampled” in Poland.

In a statement on behalf of Israel’s government, Shamir told the Knesset that Israel, although small and beset with problems of its own, was a member of the democratic camp and therefore concerned about events in Poland. “The democratic world must mobilize to help Poland,” Shamir urged.

He noted that the Jewish people had its own long and checkered history of relations with the Poles, including the “active aid by many Poles” to the Nazis during the Holocaust. “But I am not here to make that calculation today,” the Foreign Minister said. His statement was in response to weeks of pressure from the Labor Alignment opposition on the government to speak out on the crisis in Poland following the imposition of martial law there three weeks ago.