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Poland cancels Israeli delegation visit over Holocaust restitution

May 13, 2019 12:49 P.M. (Updated: May 14, 2019 1:57 P.M.)
WARSAW (Ma'an) -- The Polish government canceled an official visit by an Israeli delegation, on late Sunday, noting that the Israeli government made last-minute changes that suggested it would focus on the issue of the restitution of former Jewish property.

Poland's Foreign Ministry announced the cancelation on Sunday, while the Israeli delegation’s visit was scheduled for Monday to apparently discuss restitution for property seized from Jews during the Holocaust.

In a tweet, Poland's Foreign Ministry claimed that due to the Israeli government making last-minute changes to the composition of the delegation, it suggested that talks would be primarily focus on property restitution.

Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Jakub Morawiecki, spoke during a political gathering in Poland and stressed that his country would not pay compensation for property lost in World War II and that Poland itself was a victim of the Nazi regime.

A large demonstration was held over the weekend, made up of thousands of Polish nationalists, marched to the United States embassy in Warsaw, in protest of the so-called “JUST Act,” which was signed into law in 2018 by US President Donald Trump, requiring the State Department report to Congress on the state of restitution of property seized in the Holocaust in dozens of European countries.

Demonstrators held up signs and placards, reading, “Poland has no obligations” and “We say no to the giveaway of heirless property.”

Many believe that if restitution is approved, Poland’s economy would lose up to $300 billion.

Poland was occupied by Nazis during World War II, during which the country suffered extensive material losses, and demonstrators argued that it is unfair to demand Poland to compensate Jews when Poland itself has never received adequate compensation from Germany.

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