Banks Succeed In Reducing Payments To 'Holocaust Victims'

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Banks Succeed In Reducing Payments To 'Holocaust Victims'

Postby FREE ZUNDEL NOW » 1 decade 6 years ago (Mon Sep 20, 2004 11:58 pm)

20/09/2004

Banks succeed in reducing payments to Holocaust victims

By Amiram Barkat, Haaretz Correspondent


Bank Leumi will register another victory in its battle over the return of Holocaust victims' assets on Thursday, when a report that is to be made to the parliamentary committee of inquiry on the subject will assess Leumi's obligations at just a few tens of millions of shekels - rather than the estimate of NIS 500 million made 15 months ago.

The June 2003 assessment listed assets worth a combined NIS 1 billion at the five major banks, of which Leumi's share was between 50 percent and 70 percent. Leumi then managed to get the computational method changed, thereby significantly reducing its obligations. But it still has a long list of additional demands - and unless they are met, it does not intend to let the committee publish its report.

Yet if the banks are attempting to practice some sort of extortion, the committee is equally to blame, for having agreed to negotiations over the banks' objections to the 2003 report. In these negotiations, Leumi played the leading role: Its accountants fought with those of the committee over every dormant account discovered at the bank.

As far back as October 2003, MK Colette Avital (Labor), the chairperson of the parliamentary committee dealing with the assets, declared the banks' behavior unacceptable and said that Holocaust victims could not keep "waiting and waiting" for their money. She also threatened repeatedly to publish the report without the banks' consent. But she never made good on these threats.

In another three months, the committee will be dismantled, yet a date for the report's publication has still not been set. It is thus becoming increasingly likely that the committee's five years of work will go down the drain.

"We're in a bind," agreed Avital. "The banks can keep delaying, again and again and again."

"In the end, there will be a report that says: 'We checked, and the banks are clean,'" predicted Leumi's Yona Fogel.

Leumi upset by finding that it profited from victims' assets
The banks have already made notable achievements: The committee agreed to increase the state's share of the debt and reduce the banks' share; it also agreed to change the way the debt is calculated. The new method, which is very close to what the banks demanded, reduced the debt drastically.

Nevertheless, Leumi is still not satisfied: It is upset by the bottom-line conclusion that it profited from the assets of Holocaust victims. In closed meetings, bank officials warned committee members and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin that such a finding would damage Israel's international image.

After the way the international Jewish community blasted Swiss banks and European insurers for benefiting from Holocaust victims' assets, the news that a state-owned Israeli bank has been doing the same would paint the Jewish people as hypocrites, Fogel argued. Rivlin and the committee members said that they have trouble countering this objection.

'Bank Leumi is all of us'
Some committee members also admitted to another problem - a personal interest in the bank. MK Avraham Ravitz (United Torah Judaism), for instance, has an account at Leumi. "It's very hard," he said at one committee meeting, "because in a case like this, I must ask myself whether it could also affect me."

Echoed Rivlin at another meeting: "Bank Leumi is all of us."

In the mid-1990s, after it became clear that Swiss banks had earned hundreds of millions of dollars from the accounts of Jewish Holocaust victims, an international public campaign began that resulted in the banks in question signing a settlement in 2000.

Under that settlement, they agreed to pay $800 million to the heirs of the dormant accounts and hundreds of millions more to Holocaust survivors worldwide.

Europe's five largest insurance companies have also transferred more than $500 million since 1998 to Holocaust victims' heirs. Also, Germany, France, Britain and other European countries have recently allowed the heirs to claim compensation for their relatives' properties in those countries.

Holocaust victims also owned many assets in pre-state Israel: thousands of lots and buildings and thousands of bank accounts. Leumi, then called the Anglo-Palestine Bank, played a major role in helping European Jews transfer their money out of Europe. After these Jews were killed in the Holocaust, their accounts became dormant.

Until February 2000, when the Knesset set up its inquiry committee, almost nothing was done to locate the heirs to these accounts. The committee's work was supposed to take six months, and the banks promised to cooperate. The reality, however, was different.

Israeli banks demand their own valuations
The Swiss banks did not contest accountants' valuations of their dormant accounts, nor did they contest the enormous fee - an estimated $400 million - that the accountants charged them. "The banks were willing to pay billions of dollars to the accountants - anything to get the issue off the agenda," said Daniel Ganzfried, a Swiss journalist who covered the affair.

The Israeli banks, however, behaved differently. First, they demanded that their own accountants conduct the valuations, but the committee insisted on independent accountants. Then the banks agreed to pay the accountants for only 42,000 hours of work, some $3 million, rather than the 100,000 hours that the committee wanted. Thus only in mid-2001 were five accounting firms finally chosen for the five major banks.

At first, the banks said that they had no Holocaust assets: When World War II began, Britain, which ruled the area, claimed all of the accounts owned by residents of Nazi-occupied Europe, and the banks complied. But it soon emerged that the banks had deceived the British.

"Bank Leumi acted as a Zionist bank," said accountant Yehuda Barlev, who investigated the bank. "It tried to hide money from the British; it set up fictitious accounts; it lowered interest."

Barlev also discovered that the bank deceived its own customers: When Britain refunded some of the money after the war, Leumi did not return funds to its clients.

Similar phenomena, though on a smaller scale, were discovered at the other banks. Mizrahi, for instance, used its dormant accounts as collateral for a loan from Leumi in the 1940s.

Veiled threats
When the accountants finally submitted their valuations, the real war began. The banks did not accept the findings, and submitted numerous objections. The committee's accountants then had to invest huge quantities of time in checking their objections. But the banks refused to finance this work.

Zvi Barak, who headed the professional task force conducting the valuations, told the accountants not to start work until payment was assured, but the accountants did so anyway. Some of the accountants also received veiled threats. "I reserve the right to interfere with the accountants," one bank executive wrote to Avital.

The main argument was over the method used to calculate the value of the accounts. The committee wanted to calculate their real value, meaning their value adjusted for inflation plus 4 percent annual interest. That is the system applied with respect to the Swiss bank accounts. But the local banks objected. Adjustment for inflation did not exist back then, they argued; moreover, banks in those days paid only 2 percent interest. Thus they demanded that the value be calculated with adjustment for inflation only from 1948 and with only 2 percent annual interest. Since inflation during the war years reached 319 percent, the difference is enormous.

Finally, the committee proposed a compromise: Direct heirs would receive adjustment for inflation from 1939; all other accounts would be adjusted for inflation only from 1948. Additionally, the annual interest would be set at 3 percent. Since heirs are expected to be found for only 5 to 10 percent of the money, the committee's compromise reduces the valuation by over 90 percent: In Leumi's case, from NIS 500 million to a few tens of millions.

Nevertheless, Leumi refused, saying that retroactively adjusting for inflation from 1939 was legally impossible. It also rejected the finding that the bank "hid" some 200 dormant accounts.

"The bank has no accounts of Holocaust victims," Fogel insisted, accusing the committee of "inventing" accounts to justify the expenses of the inquiry. "There is no reason why we should accept this."


http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/479351.html

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Postby FREE ZUNDEL NOW » 1 decade 6 years ago (Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:04 am)

ISRAEL=EXTORTION=HOLOHOAX INUDSTRY

One standard for Jews and another standard for everyone else. This is not news to me--or to anyone on this side of the debate--but this article confirms what we have been saying. The source comes directly from a Zionist paper in Israhell. Now we understand one more reason why Israel must be dismantled. Not only is it a fraud state, a hideout for supremacist Jews and gangsters who want to milk the goyem world for all they can on this phony balony holohoax trip they are on. Israel on top of being a terrorist state, a money laundering state, a mafia hideout, a sex slave depot and a ecstasy drug exporter, IS ALSO A LEADER IN EXTORTION RACKETEERING!! It must be dismantled and their mafiasos sent packing back to the Gulags!!

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Postby Hannover » 1 decade 6 years ago (Tue Sep 21, 2004 9:47 am)

Holocaust victims also owned many assets in pre-state Israel: thousands of lots and buildings and thousands of bank accounts. Leumi, then called the Anglo-Palestine Bank, played a major role in helping European Jews transfer their money out of Europe. After these Jews were killed in the Holocaust, their accounts became dormant.

The Germans allowed this money to be transferred from Germany and there is no evidence that these people were killed, none. Curiously I see there is no mention of the massive seizures by the Communist governments (where the leadership was disproportionately Jews) .... the Communist countries is where most of the Jews in Europe resided.
After the way the international Jewish community blasted Swiss banks and European insurers for benefiting from Holocaust victims' assets, the news that a state-owned Israeli bank has been doing the same would paint the Jewish people as hypocrites, Fogel argued. Rivlin and the committee members said that they have trouble countering this objection.

In the mid-1990s, after it became clear that Swiss banks had earned hundreds of millions of dollars from the accounts of Jewish Holocaust victims, an international public campaign began that resulted in the banks in question signing a settlement in 2000.

Under that settlement, they agreed to pay $800 million to the heirs of the dormant accounts and hundreds of millions more to Holocaust survivors worldwide.

Europe's five largest insurance companies have also transferred more than $500 million since 1998 to Holocaust victims' heirs. Also, Germany, France, Britain and other European countries have recently allowed the heirs to claim compensation for their relatives' properties in those countries.

There is no evidence that massive amounts of money was held back from Jews in Swiss accounts, it's all part of the same scam of '6,000,000'. Lot's of unsubstantiated financially motivated claims, but no evidence. I guess the thinking was: 'why not make a claim, what are they going to do about it?'
Should read:
'After the way the Swiss banks were threatened and shaken down, they gave in rather than face economic sanctions.' Same for the insurance companies; better to pay the thieves than face their power tactics.

The whole thing is a classic example of the nature of the 'holocau$t' scam. It always comes down to money, power, and privilege.

It's called the 'holocaust Industry' for good reason.

- Hannover
If it can't happen as alleged, then it didn't.


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