The Knesset's State Control Committee will hold an urgent meeting to discuss severe allegations that the Claims Conference is withholding funds from Holocaust survivors, committee chairman, MK Zevulun Orlev (NRP), said on Wednesday.
According to the documentary "Morals of Restitution - The Fight Goes On" (Musar Shilumim), which aired on nationwide TV Wednesday evening, the Claims Conference – a body entrusted with distributing restitutions received from Germany to Holocaust survivors, is misusing the funds in its possession, estimated to total some $1 billion.
The film maintains that instead of funneling money to survivors who are in desperate need of financial aid, the organization prefers to transfer funds to various Jewish groups.
Orlev stated that the Claims Conference must be subjected to a state comptroller investigation. "I was deeply shocked by the film. It's hard to believe that funds intended for Holocaust survivors are not given to them, although a large number of them suffer from a dire financial situation and live without dignity. A Jewish organization must be subjected to Israeli supervision."
If the Claims Conference refuses to face such a probe, Orlev said he would act to have the organization replaced by an Israeli foundation that would take over handling the funds from Germany.
MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) also called to tighten the supervision of the Claims Conference. "I was deeply moved by the film. The findings are shocking and such that the Israeli public cannot accept – hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors are rotting around the world in degrading poverty, while the Claims Conference gives away huge sums of money without any transparency or supervision."