Warsaw, Poland (AP) — On Friday, the Polish Senate approved many controversial changes to property return rules with several amendments, bringing them one step closer to adoption.
The draft rule has received strong criticism from Israel and Jewish organizations, stating that the new administrative law will prevent Jewish claims of compensation and property seized during the Holocaust and Communist eras.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the bill “would seriously hurt relations with Poland.”
If adopted, the change will prevent property ownership and other administrative decisions from being declared invalid after 30 years. Affects Poland, Jews and other property. Poland states that this is a response to fraud and fraud in the return process, leading to peasants and the provision of real estate to real estate dealers.
The change was ordered by the Constitutional Court in 2015, which ruled that the current state of administrative regulation violates Poland’s Supreme Law.
Polish authorities claim that claims can continue to be filed through courts, regardless of the claimant’s nationality or place of residence.
The revised draft is now sent to the House of Representatives for approval and then requires the signature of President Andrzej Duda, who spoke in favor.
Gideon Taylor, chairman of the World Jewish Return Organization, urged the House of Representatives to “reject the entire bill.”
He said the organization is encouraging Poland to “solve the issue of private property at once by adopting a comprehensive redress law.”
“As the rest of the Holocaust survivors grow older, they deserve some justice in their lifetime,” Taylor said.
Before World War II, Poland was home to Europe’s largest Jewish community of about 3.5 million people. Most were killed on the Nazi German-occupied Holocaust and their property was confiscated. Polish post-war communist authorities seized these property, along with the property of non-Jewish owners in Warsaw and other cities. The end of communism in 1989 opened the door to refund claims. Most of them were from Poles.
An unresolved issue was the constant cause of bitterness and political tension between Poland and Israel.
In 2001, a bill foreseeing compensation for seized private property was approved by Parliament, but was rejected by President Alexander Kwasnievski. He argued that it violated the principle of social equality and undermined Poland’s economic development, suggesting that claims would result in large payments. He stated that individual claims should be made through court.
Poland is the only European country in recent history that has not provided compensation for private property seized by the country. Only the remaining co-Jewish property, which is mostly devastated, such as some synagogues, prayer houses, and graveyards, is returned or compensated as much as possible.
This story has been modified to indicate that the name of the Israeli minister is Yale, not Yari.