ID: 05 Tel Aviv 45.
Date: 4th of January, 2005.
Summary: A Government of Israel working group charged with
five-year plan on Holocaust-era reparations, pensions and
restitution is considering a recommendation that the GOI ask
Germany for about $500 million — possibly in the form of new
German-made submarines — in compensation for what the GOI
says is that portion of the 1953 German-Israeli reparations
agreement that had been attributed to East Germany, but never
paid. Confidential source, contended that such a GOI
claim would not violate any “closure” agreements about Holocaust-era
claims because it would be based on the unfulfilled portion
of a pre-existing agreement. The working group also expects
to call for renewed GOI efforts to resolve Holocaust-era
pension issues within five years and to settle all unresolved
property and asset issues.
Source informally previewed the elements of the 5 year action
plan on Holocaust era reparations, pensions and restitution.
He emphasized that the actions plan, which includes renewed
claims against Germany and Poland, is still in draft and is
being vetted with major Holocaust survivor organizations.
Therefore it has not gone forward to Israels newly created
Ministerial Commission on Restitution for Jewish Rights and
Property, nor to the full Government of Israel, for review and
adoption as official policy.
This was tasked late 2003 to xxxxx and Nimrod Barkan, head
of the MFA’s World Jewish Affairs Bureau, to draft and submit
it to Ministry by January 2005. The report is likely to recommend
-Israel closes all outstanding Holocaust era reparations issues
within the next five years, in particular a still unpaid sum
(one-third of the $845 million) from the 1953
-Complete all issues related to holocaust-era pensions within
the next 5 years, while still living.
-Continue the strongest possible diplomatic action on all fronts
to secure full restitution including heirless property and
assets. No time limit would apply to this effort.
note: the draft paper would also include a recommendation
for Israel to press for restitution for Jewish property and
assets in Arab lands from which Jews fled.
The sum from 1953 was the debt east-germany never paid. Back then
most of what was paid was in the form of goods shipped to
Israel. In this case, Israel is considering a request for military
goods, worth about 500 million dollars. Source was referring
to Dolphin class submarines, three of which Israel received
early nineties from Germany. The model now sought by the Israeli
Navy costs about 350 to 500 million a pop.
This claim, source argued, stems from an incomplete existing
agreement and as such should not come under the terms of any
agreement with the United States not to raise new reparation claims
Source noted that Poland would likely be the next target in
the Government of Israel’s restitution efforts, and that
they would work in close cooperation with the World Jewish
Restitution Organization and other main survivor and restitution
bodies in Israel and abroad. All these measures are in addition
to expanding pursuit of restitution claims for Jewish property
and assets from Arab Lands