Oct 3, 2021 • 39M

Is Poland‘s new law limiting restitution really anti-Semitic?

A conversation with the Pardes Institute's David Bernstein

Open in playerListen on);

The podcasts on Israel from the Inside are typically available to paid subscribers only. (You can see a list of previous episodes here.) With thanks to David Bernstein for his fascinating conversation, we are making this episode available to supporters of the Pardes Institute, as well.

Share Israel from the Inside with Daniel Gordis

Last month, Israel and Poland came close to the precipice in their diplomatic relations when Israel's Yair Lapid reacted strongly to a new Polish law. The law sets a 30-year limit on legal challenges to property confiscations that had taken place decades ago.

While the law affects Polish, Jewish and other contested property claims, many people felt the law was particularly unfair to Jews, especially since Jews were often late in filing petitions for property after the war, given how dislocated they'd been. The World Jewish Restitution Organization, for example, said that the law marked “a sad day for justice and the rule of law.”

Given the vociferousness of Israel's response to the law, it might seem that its anti-Jewish nature is beyond debate. That's not the case, however. In this conversation with David Bernstein, one of the truly great guides of Israelis and others to Poland, we hear much about the complexity of that law, and about the relationship of Jews to the Polish story in general. 

Music credits: Medieval poem by Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Gvirol. Melody and performance by Shaked Jehuda and Eyal Gesundheit. Production by Eyal Gesundheit. To view a video of their performance, see this YouTube:

Give a gift subscription

Our twitter feed is here; feel free to join there, too.