WARSAW (Reuter) - Poland`s prime minister said on Tuesday his trip to Israel was an important opportunity to help repair the damage done by a history of brutal anti-semitism. Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz will remain until Thursday on the first ever visit to the Jewish state by a Polish premier. Poland`s government, led by ex-communists, and President Aleksander Kwasniewski have laid special stress on Poland`s post-1989 policy of building understanding with the Jewish diaspora and with Israel, where many citizens have Polish roots. Cimoszewicz will hold talks with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, President Ezer Weizman, and other Israeli leaders. On Friday he will meet Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to discuss Palestinian self-rule, Polish officials said. He will also be promoting currently weak economic links. Poland`s Foreign Ministry says Polish exports to Israel in 1995 were worth $20.7 million and imports $65 million. The deal has critics in Poland and is likely to be discussed by Defence Minister Stanislaw Dobrzanski during the trip. Poland cut ties with Israel after the 1967 Middle East war and restored full relations in 1990 after the fall of communism, paving the way for President Lech Walesa`s 1991 visit. Cimoszewicz and other Polish leaders apologised last year for a murderous 1946 pogrom which prompted many Jews to emigrate and for other anti-Semitic episodes - while calling for an end to a stereotype of Poles as anti-Semites. Cimoszewicz will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial to discuss cooperation on preserving sites linked with the Holocaust, in which most of Poland`s 3.5 million Jews died. The return of former Jewish property taken over by communist authorities after World War Two is a burning issue in Poland. A bill before parliament will restore some communal properties such as synagogues to the few, tiny remaining Jewish congregations in Poland, but Jewish groups abroad would like some of these assets to benefit Polish Jews living abroad. Cimoszewicz is scheduled to meet the World Jewish Restitution Organisation to discuss this and the still more fraught question of restoring private property.