Israel Summons Polish Envoy on Holocaust Restitution Law

Israel’s Foreign Ministry summoned Poland’s ambassador to Israel regarding draft legislation that would create a major hurdle for Holocaust survivors to recover property seized by the Nazis on Polish soil.

Ministry official Alon Bar told Ambassador Marek Magierowski on Sunday that Israel is deeply disappointed with the proposed law, which he said would negatively affect 90% of restitution claims by survivors and their heirs. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Thursday that the law is a “disgrace” and will seriously harm relations between the countries.

Later Sunday, Poland summoned the temporary head of Israel’s Warsaw embassy for a reprimand, which is scheduled to take place on Monday morning, Kan News reported. The reason for the dressing down, according to the report, is Israel’s interference in legislation by a foreign government, and Lapid’s statements against the Polish government.

​The law, which was approved late Thursday in the lower house, establishes a 30-year limit for restitution claims. It has not yet been approved by the Senate.

Poland says it shouldn’t have to pay damages for the historic wrongs of World War II that began with Nazi Germany’s 1939 invasion.

“As long as I’m prime minister, Poland won’t pay a dollar, zloty or euro for German war crimes,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in Brussels on Friday.

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