Shortly before its report was published, the Knesset Parliamentary Inquiry Committee for the Location and Restitution of Property of Holocaust Victims had to withdraw an appendix containing 9,000 names of owners of dormant accounts, which appear to belong to Holocaust victims. The thick appendix was published at the same time as the names were listed on the Knesset Internet site.
The appendix itself was withdrawn, after a “Globes” correspondent discovered that it included a number of pages with Arabic names. “Globes” asked committee chairperson MK Colette Avital (Labor) to respond. It was learned that the names were mistakenly mixed with documents of Ottoman Bank, a bank that existed up until the state of Israel was founded, and which merged with Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT).
The documents were examined by the committee’s team of accountants in order to obtain the names of Jewish account holders matching the search criteria.
Avital was surprised to learn that account holders with Arabic names had not been removed from the list of names, despite careful proofreading before the list was printed. The list of names about to be put on the Internet site was immediately scanned, and the Arabic names removed.
It was impossible to remove the names from the printed appendix, and Avital was forced to order that it be withdrawn. A corrected edition of the book will be printed.
The Knesset plenum yesterday approved the report and its conclusions, which will legally binding.
Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on January 19, 2005
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