Barbed-wire fences are pictured at Auschwitz on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. (Czarek Sokolowski/Associated Press)

In this occasional series, The Washington Post brings you up to speed on some of the biggest stories of the week. This week: Israel and Poland try to tamp down tensions after Poland’s ‘death camp’ law sparks Israeli outrage.

The biggest story: The three words you shouldn’t say in Poland 

Polish lawmakers voted for a bill that would fine or jail people who blame Poland or Poles for Nazi atrocities committed there during World War II, including the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. The law has provoked harsh criticism from Israel.

Read the full story by Ruth Eglash and Avi Selk.

Five other important stories

1. Long, uneasy love affair of Israel and U.S. evangelicals may have peaked

Younger American evangelicals are increasingly growing less attached to Israel. Recent polls have sparked anxiety among Israeli officials and Christian Zionist groups, which are trying to reverse the decline. Faced with the dip in support, Israel is increasingly looking to evangelical communities in Latin America, Africa and elsewhere to build international support, write Loveday Morris, Michelle Boorstein and Ruth Eglash.

Germany has long been one of Israel’s biggest supporters. Berlin’s arms sales to Jerusalem have raised scrutiny, but it’s another deal that is now sparking major outrage among Germans.

2. Germans up in arms about weapons sales to Turkey and others


Men walk past a German-made Leopard tank with a "sold" sign on it at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference, known by the acronym IDEX, in Abu Dhabi in 2017. (Jon Gambrell/Associated Press)

After Turkey began an assault on Kurdish militias in Syria on Jan. 20, German news wires reported this week that German-made Leopard tanks may have been used in the offensive. The campaign has displaced an estimated 5,000 people and killed at least two dozen civilians in northwestern Syria’s Afrin region, according to United Nations reports. The revelation prompted calls, particularly from Germany’s left-wing parties, for an end to arms sales to Turkey.

Read the full story by Luisa Beck and Griff Witte.

3. Turkey’s Erdogan wages a dangerous war on many fronts

That same offensive has created an international mess. But in Turkey itself, the campaign has let loose a new tide of nationalist feeling.


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once championed a historic opening with Turkey's long-suppressed Kurdish population. Now he casts himself as the merciless enemy of Kurdish separatism, rallying right-wing Turks to his banner.

Read the full analysis by Ishaan Tharoor.

4. North Korea’s push for ski resorts reveals its hopes for a life after isolation

North Korea spent much of the past year pursuing new long-range missiles and nuclear weapons, often accompanying its tests with threats that raised fears of an impending war.


But in coming weeks, Pyongyang will proudly display a much different program: its luxurious ski resorts. That unveiling provides a chance for the isolated country to show off, writes Adam Taylor.

5. Chaos spreads in France as Nutella-loving customers battle to get 70 percent off

In the French Revolution, the people fought over bread. In the France of Emmanuel Macron, they are fighting over Nutella. As part of a promotion, Intermarché — a French supermarket chain — slashed the price of a 35-ounce jar of everyone’s favorite hazelnut-cocoa spread by 70 percent. What transpired were scenes that would warm the heart of any die-hard Black Friday bargain-hunter, writes James McAuley.

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