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>Israel Faxx
>JN March 16, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 49

Holocaust Payments Start in Summer

By IINS News Service

Needy Holocaust survivors in the United States will get shares of a $190 million Swiss humanitarian fund this summer. The payout is expected to amount to between $500 and $1,000 per applicant, said Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress. A toll-free number for claimants will be established next month and administered by the New York State Holocaust Claims Processing Office. The US share of the fund is $32.4 million. It will be divided equally among claimants, Steinberg said.

If all 120,000 survivors in the United States apply, each would receive $270, but Steinberg said that is not expected to happen. He suggested that those who do not need the money not make a claim, so those who do will receive more. "This payment is largely symbolic, but for those in real need it can make a difference."

The money will be distributed about three months after the toll-free number goes into operation to allow time for processing and verification. To qualify, applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents who can show they lived under Nazi rule or a regime of Nazi collaborators. The fund was established by Swiss banks and industries last year after world attention was focused on allegations of Swiss collusion with Nazi Germany during World War 2.

The fund was established as a goodwill gesture and is separate from the issue of restoration of looted assets and dormant bank accounts, which Jewish groups contend is billions of dollars. The fund began distributions in November in Riga, Latvia, with payments to 80 Jewish victims, and has since made payouts in Albania and Hungary. About $24 million of the $190 million has been targeted for non-Jewish Holocaust victims, such as gypsies, homosexuals and political foes of the Nazis.

WJO President Edgar Bronfman said Swiss banks should pay $3 billion in a final settlement regarding claims against them that the banks are withholding money that belongs to Holocaust victims and their heirs, Swiss newspapers reported, citing an interview in the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California.

Bronfman, who is also chairman of the Seagram Co., said he would call on American investors to suspend their business with the banks if they don't make a statement on a settlement within one week, saying the issue has "come to a point where it must be resolved, or there will be total war."

First Falash Mura Arrive in Jerusalem

By IINS News Service

The first large group of Ethiopian Falash Mura immigrants arrived Sunday and will be temporarily settled at Givat ha-Matos, Jerusalem. The Ministerial Committee on Absorption and Diaspora, headed by Ministers Natan Sharansky and Yuli Edelshtein, decided to allow the immigration of 4000 Falash Mura, living in transit camps in Addis Ababa, to immigrate to Israel over the coming year. 1500 Falash Mura have since immigrated and are temporarily settled in Akko.

Teddy Kollek Moving to a Senior Citizen Facility

By IINS News Service

For 45-years, Teddy Kollek and his wife Tara have been living in the same apartment in the Rechavia section of Jerusalem, but in September, the Kolleks will move to the Hod Yerushalayim senior citizens complex in the Kiryat Yovel section of the capital. The 87-year-old former mayor of the capital and his wife said they decided it was time to take it easy.

King Hussein to Fly Kabbalist Rabbi to Aaron's Grave

By IINS News Service

A most unusual meeting is scheduled to take place next month in Jordan. The head of the Kabbalists, Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri, will fly to Jordan as a personal guest of King Hussein.

Kaduri will be flown in a helicopter piloted by the king himself. The connection between the two began several months ago following a message sent by the rabbi, calling upon the king to work towards peace in the world. A senior Jordanian official promised that the king is working to make a road so the burial site of Aaron the High Priest will be accessible to the rabbi. David Kaduri, the rabbi's son, said the purpose of the trip is to pray at the gravesite of Aaron.

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