Yair Lapid
Yair LapidFlash90

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid responded Thursday to the discussion of a law in the Polish parliament that would limit the ability of Holocaust survivors to make restitution claims.

"Preserving the memory of the Holocaust and being concerned for the rights of Holocaust survivors, including the matter of restitution of Jewish property from the Holocaust era, are central components of the State of Israel's experience and its defined identity," Lapid said.

"They are also important elements of the endeavors of Israel's Foreign Ministry. This is a duty grounded in values, morals and history, which we all fulfill with pride.

"The Terezin Declaration, issued in 2009, calls for all relevant states to act for the restitution of Jewish property that was stolen during the Holocaust era. Israel expects that these states will act according to this principle. The fact that Poland is forsaking the Declaration is extremely worrisome and grave.

"Poland's draft law will in effect prevent the restitution of Jewish property, or the provision of compensation, to Holocaust survivors and their heirs. It is a horrific injustice and disgrace that harms the rights of Holocaust survivors, their heirs, and members of the Jewish communities that existed in Poland for hundreds of years. This is an incomprehensible action.

"This immoral law will seriously harm relations between the countries.

"We view with gravity the attempt to prevent the restitution of the property that was stolen by the Nazis (and their helpers) in European states during the Holocaust to their legal owners.

"No law will change history. It is a disgrace that will not erase the horrors or the memory of the Holocaust.

"The State of Israel will stand as a wall of protection in defense of the memory of the Holocaust, as well as to defend the honor of Holocaust survivors and their property.

"Poland, on whose soil millions of Jews were murdered, knows what is the right thing to do," Lapid concluded.