Polish party leader denounces anti-Semitism, praises Israel

Poland's most powerful politician has denounced anti-Semitism and praised the "great" state of Israel at a ceremony honoring Poles who protected Jews during the Holocaust.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, chief of the governing Law and Justice party chief, spoke at Monday's ceremony attended by Israeli, U.S. and British officials and organized by From the Depths, a foundation established by descendants of Jewish Holocaust survivors.

In rare remarks on international relations, Kaczynski said Israel owes its existence to the "power of spirit, power of the mind" of its people and denounced anti-Semitism as a "very dangerous" phenomenon that is expressed through hostility toward the country.

While Warsaw and Tel Aviv have strong ties, Kaczynski has faced pressure from Jewish communities in Poland and Europe to denounce what they see as a rise of anti-Semitism.