Yes Poland to Jewish goods law, Israel calls diplomats

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– TEL AVIV, AUGUST 14 – Israel has recalled the charge d’affaires in Warsaw in protest at the definitive start to the law on the return of Jewish assets seized during the Second World War. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid – who called the measure “anti-Semitic and immoral” – said on Twitter that “he had instructed the head of the embassy in Poland to return immediately to Israel for open-ended consultations”. Furthermore, the new ambassador to Poland “who was to leave soon for Warsaw – added Lapid – will not leave at this stage”.

Shortly before that, the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, passed the controversial law, which will severely limit claims for property seized after World War II. The measure establishes a 30-year time limit for appeals against property confiscations, many of which relate to the Polish Jewish community. After the war, the Communist authorities nationalized a large number of properties that had been abandoned because their owners had been killed or fled.

The law affects both Jewish and non-Jewish applicants, but activists say Jewish owners will be disproportionately affected because they often filed complaints later after the war.

Duda told the Polish news agency Pap that he hopes the law will put an end to “an era of legal chaos” and “reprivatization mafias”. The government says it will restore legal certainty on the housing market and block false restitution requests. When parliament passed the bill this week, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked Duda not to sign the bill. Lapid said the law “harms both the memory of the Holocaust and the rights of its victims.” (HANDLE).