- BBC News World
Polish President Andrzej Duda approved a law on Saturday that will make it difficult for Jews to recover property lost during and after World War II.
The legislation refers to claims on property stolen by the Nazi Germany and then seized by the communist regime in Poland.
The law establishes a 30-year limit to challenge these confiscations.
As most happened shortly after the war, many of the pending claims will be filed now.
The Polish government says the change will end a period of legal chaos, but Israel strongly condemned it: it withdrew its diplomatic envoy to Warsaw while calling the law “anti-Semitic.”
“Poland passed today, not for the first time, an immoral and anti-Semitic law,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement.
Lapid also said that he was recommending the Polish ambassador to Israel to continue his summer vacation in Poland.
“I should use the time available to explain to Poles what the Holocaust means for the citizens of Israel and that we little tolerate the disregard for the memory of the victims and the memory of the Holocaust, “he tweeted.
Analysis by Adam Easton, Warsaw Correspondent
Duda said that the enactment of the bill ends an era of legal chaos in the process of returning confiscated property.
In recent decades, property restitution has been closely related to corruption cases.
With the buying and selling of property titles, tenants are suddenly evicted from their apartments overnight.
Jewish claims represent only a minority of total claims, most of which are made by Poles.
As a result, the law received support from the Polish opposition and the government.
When the Second World War ended, the communist authorities of Poland they nationalized many properties that had been left empty because their owners had fled or been killed.
The new law covers both Jewish and non-Jewish claimants.
But critics say Jewish owners were often delayed al submit claims after the war and will be disproportionately affected.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called the law “shameful” and said it displayed a “shameful disregard for the memory of the Holocaust.”
Some six million Jews died in the Holocaust, half of them were of Polish origin.
About 90% of the Jewish community settled in Poland before the war she was assassinated.
Israel’s opposition to the legislation was supported by the United States, and Lapid said future actions will be discussed with Washington.
The Polish government previously claimed that the new law has nothing to do with the fears of Israel and the United States.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.