Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
We take it as a sure sign of the times that the recent stunning news that the Claims Conference had negotiated a four-year $1 billion infusion of funds from the German government to aid Holocaust survivors has been largely overshadowed by criticism that those leading the conference mishandled an internal investigation into the embezzlement of $57 million by some employees over a fifteen-year period.
This is not to suggest that the theft of $57 million is an insignificant thing or that those who have been key to the conference’s achievements should be exempt from criticism or inquiry. It is to lament, though, that public discourse seems more and more driven by those with narrow perspectives and a penchant for “gotcha” journalism.
A bit of history is instructive.
Since 1952 the Claims Conference (its full name is the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany) has served as the principal Jewish community liaison with the German government and, in fact, was established to officially negotiate on behalf of Jews around the world who were victims of Nazi persecution. In that capacity, it has negotiated agreements for German aid in a broad array of critical categories for survivors.
In recent years the Claims Conference has also negotiated the establishment of several special programs including monthly payments to approximately 47,000 survivors worldwide, including some 9,800 in the United States. There is also the hardship fund, which provides for one-time payments to certain Holocaust victims not eligible for other compensation. There is a welfare services program to help survivors with homecare (in the countries of the former Soviet Union, the Claims Conference is the sole provider of homecare services to Holocaust survivors). A Claims Conference program makes grants to institutions working in Holocaust research and education in order to ensure that the world never forgets.
All the money in the world will not adequately compensate for what was visited on even one person. Still, agreements negotiated by the Claims Conference with German and Austrian government officials and industry leaders in its six decades have resulted in compensation for more that 500,000 Holocaust survivors and today approximately 97,000 survivors continue to receive payments. The conference has brought a staggering total of $70 billion into the everyday lives of survivors.
With this huge infrastructure of assistance as context, particularly the newly negotiated $1 billion, it is hard to understand why some are focusing exclusively on accusations of mismanagement – particularly when several conference employees went to jail for embezzlement following a federal investigation materially aided by the assistance of the very conference leadership now being attacked.
Further, the Claims Conference has initiated a new internal investigation into how the embezzlers were able to conceal their crimes. All the more reason for not allowing the thefts to unfairly define one of our more important communal efforts.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
A nuclear Khomenist Tehran will be a threat to Western democracies and to Jerusalem in particular
The MONSTERS of Nebi Saleh know well the damning, visceral impact of powerful, deceitful imagery.
Jewish Voice for Peace openly supports BDS movement against ALL of Israel & ending the Jewish State.
Unlike Judaism & Christianity which honors “truth,” Islam pursues “Taqiyya,” strategic lying
Yashar Lachayal’s mission is to learn what IDF soldiers’ need and get it to them when they need it.
Corbyn leading the Britain’s Labour Party polls, describes Hamas & Hizbullah as England’s “friends.”
The convicted murderer was released from Israeli prison with more than two dozen other sociopaths
JCF is a donor/supporter of The New Israel Fund which supports BDS & wants IDF soldiers prosecuted
The ‘Peace Industry’ promotes its adherents; weak leaders, both military & political, is the result
The conundrum for US Labor Zionists: Lobbying for Iran deal while Israel’s Left lobby’s against it.
What does the Torah want from our small nation described as “they who struggle with God & with men”?
Mr. Nadler’s support for the deal is a naked political gift to a president who has defied logic in his quest to reinvent international affairs according to his ideological inclinations.
In practical terms, the proclamation surely makes a compelling argument:
The Jewish Press will be keeping tabs on the public positions taken by Democratic members of the Senate and House.
If the reports are accurate, it’s hard to fathom why Sen. Schumer feels it necessary to eschew urging his colleagues to oppose the Iran deal.
Since Republicans are expected to almost uniformly oppose the agreement, the key to its fate will be how many Democrats oppose it.
Jonathan Pollard’s presumptive release in mid-November 2015 had long been a matter of public record, though many may not have been aware of it.
We daresay there are many stories of successful business ventures among chassidim.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-claims-conference-controversy-in-context/2013/06/12/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: