News Brief

A former Israeli Supreme Court justice criticized the government’s record on caring for Holocaust survivors.

“We need to take better care of living Holocaust survivors rather than invest extra money in memorializing,” Dalia Dorner said Monday, according to YNet.

Dorner, who headed a commission investigating the state’s treatment of survivors, said the government was misuing funds provided by the Claims Conference, the principal Jewish organization handling matters of Holocaust restitution.

“Israel’s government must first take a look at itself,” Dorner said. “The funds transferred by the Claims Conference did not go directly to the survivors. I don’t think the conference’s money should be used as the state’s petty cash bank.”

Dorner’s comments came during a parliamentary discussion in which other lawmakers had harsh words for the Claims Conference. Labor lawmaker Ofir Pines said the conference was “a covert organization” that conducts its business “without transparency.”

The Claims Conference has come under intense criticism in Israel since the airing of a documentary earlier this year that made some incendiary allegations, including that the conference was withholding hundreds of millions from needy surviors.

In response, the conference issued a detailed, 27-page rebuttal to the film, which it called “sensationalist” and “riddled with inaccuracies and distortions.” According to the document, the film’s assertion that the conference is sitting on $1 billion in assets is simply wrong.

The conference has filed a lawsuit against the filmmakers.

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