'Claims Conference was negligent'

Court rules that group failed to notify survivors of their rights of their rights.

holocaust protest 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
holocaust protest 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Claims Conference had been negligent in its duty, in that it failed to notify those persecuted by the Nazi authorities who escaped into areas under the control of the former Soviet Union regarding their rights to a one-time grant upon their arrival to Israel, Judge Oded Modrik of the Tel Aviv District court ruled on Sunday. The judge ordered the Claims Conference to pay 19 million NIS to the 1,315 claimants. The judge deferred ruling on three of the case's arguments while determining that a statue of limitations was applicable to 550 of the claimants from an original group of 1,915. Many of the claimants are immigrants from the former Soviet Union who arrived in Israel within the last 15 years, and despite not directly experiencing the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, did suffer during the war. Until a ruling earlier this year, many of them had not been eligible for assistance from the Israeli government or the Claims Conference. A 2005 study by the Fund for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors in Israel found that more than 40 percent of Israel's estimated 260,000 survivors lived below the poverty line. Ruth Eglash contributed to this report