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Thursday, 10 July 2008

Just 10 of 66,000 Holocaust survivors' heirs get assets back

Interesting article from Ha'aretz.

Not only does Israel do its best not to distribute reparations to Holocaust survivors in need [Watchdog: Treasury delayed funds for survivors], but they do their best to politically exploit the Holocaust. Now it seems they are behaving exactly as they falsely accused Swiss Banks of behaving. Keeping the assets of holocaust survivors from them or their heirs.

'MKs and representatives of Holocaust survivors on Monday harshly criticized a special body established by the government to distribute assets held in Mandatory Palestine by Holocaust survivors and victims. In a Knesset State Control Committee meeting on Monday, it emerged that only 10 heirs of the thousands of Holocaust victims who held such assets have received funds from the Company for Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets. The government established the company two years ago in order to expedite the restitution process.
The head of the company told the Knesset committee that a total of NIS 750 million worth of assets belonging to Holocaust victims had been located up until the end of June 2008. According to the company, the different bodies holding these assets, including Bank Leumi and the Jewish National Fund, are delaying the return of finances. In addition, the company has compiled a list of 66,000 Holocaust victims to whom the assets belonged. These assets were bank bonds and stocks bought in British Mandatory Palestine before World War II by Jews who later perished in the Nazi genocide. MKs and representatives of Holocaust survivors harshly criticized the company for foot-dragging in its insistence on withholding most of the sums intended for survivors. The company did this, the MKs and survivors' representatives charged, through waiting for survivors and their descendents to contact them first instead of transferring the money straight away. The committee chairman, MK Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party-National Union), threatened to establish an investigative committee into the matter if the company fails to show progress within a month'

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