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14 November 2008

Shakedown for Europe, Negotiation for Jews

Israeli banks are believed to have held accounts of Jews who died during World War II, from money deposited before the State of Israel was created. But these Israeli banks are not being subjected to the kind of shakedown that occurred in Europe, where the agitation for Switzerland's banks to open their records revealed only a disappointingly small number of dormant bank accounts that had belonged to Jews. (The talk of dormant Jewish bank accounts then gave way to agitation over Jewish gold, a much more nebulous issue where refutation of false claims is much more difficult.) Switzerland and some other European states were pressured by the United States to settle with the World Jewish Congress even though, as the Wall Street Journal's Cam Simpson states below, "it's impossible to know how much was really lost," and, "There is no reliable registry of the dead nor of their international assets."

Actually there is a fairly reliable registry of those who died in German camps, the Red Cross International Tracing Service in Bad Arolson, Switzerland. But these records, since they have recently been opened to the public and it has been seen that they show no indication of anything like six-million Jewish deaths, and indicate no deaths by gassing, apparently are no longer accepted by some people as a reliable registry. The figure of six-million dead Jews is the sacred assumption on which belief in vast quantities of usurped Jewish wealth is based. Any evidence contradicting the sacred assumption is automatically discounted.

Simpson suggests that many Jewish-owned bank accounts were abandoned not because of death, but because paperwork needed to access the account was lost. "Those who survived didn't typically hold onto the sort of records that can buttress a claim." This seems not unlikely in the turmoil and destruction of 1945.

For European banks, "Settlements were often based on fragmentary evidence and statistical estimates of what banks and institutions owed." All of this occurred under "intense international pressure," i.e. under pressure from the Jewish-dominated Clinton Administration, represented by Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstadt. Israeli banks by contrast get "a chance to fight claims case-by-case, then shekel-by-shekel within each case." The Israeli banks will end up paying relatively little.

The way the matter is being handled in Israel is the way it should have been handled in Europe, instead of the strongarm treatment from Big Jew-S-A.


Battle for Holocaust Assets Roils Israel
By CAM SIMPSON
NOVEMBER 12, 2008

RAMAT GAN, Israel -- The global quest to ferret out money and property left behind by Jews killed in the Holocaust is now targeting Israel, and investigators say it's proving at least as difficult in the Jewish state as it did in Europe.

Many big banks and the government itself have resisted efforts to claim hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for bank deposits, land, corporate shares, art and other assets that investigators say once belonged to Jews killed by the Nazis and their allies.

"I cannot say that the Israeli establishment has been, or is, happy about the return of properties," says Avraham Roet, the recently retired chairman of the Company for Location & Restitution of Holocaust Victims Assets Ltd. The private firm, often referred to simply as the Company, was created by the Israeli parliament after its investigators identified up to 9,000 bank accounts suspected of belonging to Holocaust victims.

Thousands of European Jews deposited or invested tidy sums here during the decades before World War II, often without visiting what was then British-controlled Palestine. After many were killed in the Holocaust [which generally means died of typhus], their substantial assets went unclaimed, passing into the hands of the government of the newly created nation of Israel and some of its largest banks.

While some Israeli institutions have challenged the validity of the Company's claims, they are generally loath to say much about any of this in public. Mr. Roet and others say the institutions privately argue they should be treated more gently than their European counterparts because they are in a different position than banks and governments that actively assisted the Nazis.

[...]

As in Europe, it's impossible to know how much was really lost in Israel. The Nazis and their surrogates tried to hide their genocide. [On other occasions, Jewish writers like Daniel Goldhagen will say that the "genocide" was no secret at all. The "Holocaust" is claimed to have been either a secret or public knowledge depending on which serves the argument being made.] There is no reliable registry of the dead nor of their international assets. Those who survived didn't typically hold onto the sort of records that can buttress a claim.

In the 1990s and earlier this decade, Jewish groups threatened or took legal action against European governments and businesses. The U.S. got involved, threatening reluctant European [countries] with sanctions.

Under intense international pressure, deals were reached across the Continent. Settlements were often based on fragmentary evidence and statistical estimates of what banks and institutions owed. After hammering out a total price tag, the targeted institutions funded settlement pools or agreed to specific procedures for paying claims. Heirs with verified accounts or other documented assets typically got top priority. The remaining cash was designated for other victims of Nazi persecution, including refugees and slave laborers.

The European cases led Israeli scholars in 2000 to publish research showing heirs had been having difficulty recovering assets in the Jewish state. The revelations led to a parliamentary investigation, and, in 2006, the law creating the Company.

The Israeli law sets up a process similar to the one in Europe. Verified heirs are supposed to get paid first, with needy Holocaust survivors getting the rest. But there's a crucial difference from earlier settlements: The Company must target each institution over each asset that it allegedly held. As with Bank Leumi, this gives the targeted institutions a chance to fight claims case-by-case, then shekel-by-shekel within each case.

[...]

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