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Poland’s Restitution Law Criticised by Israel and Washington

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Poland’s Restitution Law Criticised by Israel and Washington

The Polish parliament amended an existing law by setting a 30-year time limit on legal challenges to restitution claims and ending outstanding claims for the return of seized property that have not reached a final decision in the last 30 years—effectively cutting off many cases, Politico.eu reports.

Israel and the U.S. say it’s aimed at hobbling Jewish Holocaust survivors and their heirs from regaining property seized by Poland’s communist-era authorities. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday said the law “borders on Holocaust denial.”

According to Politico.eu, the U.S. administration also got involved, calling for Polish President Andrzej Duda not to sign the law.

The Polish government strongly denies the accusations. “Poland strongly condemns instrumental exploitation of the tragedy of millions of Jews during WWII in the current political discourse, as well as malevolent attacks against our country,” Paweł Jabłoński, Poland’s deputy foreign minister, said on Twitter.

The Polish ministry stressed that the law is not aimed at the heirs of Poland’s pre-war Jewish citizens, and will not prevent claimants from seeking compensation for lost property. It said the complaints from Israel were based on “misinformation” about the new rules.

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