Israel clashes with Poland over law limiting return of property to Holocaust victims – Market Research Telecast

Posted By on August 15, 2021

In a bitter confrontation with Poland, one of its main allies in Europe, Israel has withdrawn its top diplomatic representative in Warsaw following the ratification of a law that drastically reduces the chances of recovering property confiscated from Holocaust victims or receiving compensation. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called for consultations on Saturday night with the Israeli charge daffaires, Tal Ben-Ari Yaalon, hours after Polish President Andrzej Duda ratified the controversial legislation after its approval in Parliament. The rule limits the restitution of property stolen from Jews by Nazi German occupiers during World War II and nationalized by the subsequent communist regime.

The Israeli minister, who has not hesitated to cross out the new rule as anti-Semitic and immoral, he has warned that he will exert maximum diplomatic pressure with the support of the United States. Precisely the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, a descendant like Lapid of victims of the Soah, had asked President Duda on Thursday not to ratify the law so that it could be reexamined by the Warsaw Parliament.

Poland was home to the largest Hebrew community in Europe before the Holocaust. Three million Jews were murdered by the Nazis on their territory during World War II. After the conflict, the new state nationalized the assets that had been confiscated instead of returning them to their rightful owners. In many cases, Jewish properties were occupied by other Polish citizens, sparking a barrage of lawsuits in recent years.

The Polish Constitutional Court ruled in 2015 that the government should put a time limit on claims. Parliament has now set it to a maximum of 30 years back in time, which minimizes the assets affected.

Once the law has been ratified by the Polish president, the vast majority of the claims of the victims families will hardly succeed in the lawsuits against the State, which are being pursued within the framework of a long process with high costs. Unlike other European states, Poland has not set up a fund to compensate the heirs of stolen property.

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I am the son of a survivor of the Shoah. My grandmother was murdered in Poland by Germans and Poles. We suffer the consequences [del Holocausto] every day in our collective memory, the centrist leader Lapid recalled three years ago from the opposition in a diplomatic clash with the Warsaw Government that was closed after an agreement negotiated by the former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. As foreign minister and political architect of the new Israeli government, he threatens to suspend the pact reached then.

Poland has become an undemocratic country, which does not respect the memory of the greatest tragedy in the history of mankind , read the little diplomatic statement released by the Foreign Minister. Lapid announced that the new Israeli ambassador in Warsaw, recently appointed, will remain in Israel until further notice, without relieving the charge daffaires who has just been summoned. He also suggested to the Polish ambassador in Tel Aviv that he extend the holidays in his country indefinitely and not return to Israel.

The Polish government showed its disapproval of the words of the Israeli head of diplomacy, according to a statement quoted by Reuters, and announced that it will adopt appropriate political and diplomatic measures under the principle of symmetry in bilateral relations. Israel has openly clashed in recent years with one of its main supporters in Europe.

Former Prime Minister Netanyahu shunned direct confrontation over the so-called Polish Holocaust memory law and leaned in 2018 towards negotiation to preserve the relationship with the ultra-conservative government of Poland. The controversial legal reforms undertaken by the ultranationalist Law and Justice Party have become an attempt, according to many historians, to rewrite the past.

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Israel clashes with Poland over law limiting return of property to Holocaust victims - Market Research Telecast

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