Comptroller Exposes State Foot-Dragging in Jewish Refugee Claims

YERUSHALAYIM -

For years, the Israeli government has been dragging its feet on collecting data for compensation claims for Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries and Iran after Israel’s founding, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira charged on Wednesday.

Shapira said that of the hundreds of thousands expelled, information has been collected for only 130 new claims for compensatory relief and prior information on 14,000 claims from the Justice Ministry has not been processed, The Jerusalem Post.

Despite repeated declarations of the importance of the issue and promise to take action, the state has done almost nothing, Shapira said.

In 2009, the Ministry for Pensioners’ Affairs was tasked with building a database on the issue, which has come up from time to time in peace negotiations between Israel and its neighbors on resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict.

The Knesset State Control Committee asked the Comptroller’s office to investigate the status of the database in July 2012.

The Comptroller subsequently found that during the period of August 2012-May 2013 there were “severe” deficiencies regarding the “research, compiling, recording and gathering of information with regard to the rights of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran.”