When the latest round of talks were held in Jerusalem this week to resolve Nazi-era insurance claims, a prominent New York Jewish leader was seated at the table. But he was not sitting with the victims.
"I came into this to try to come up with some basis to move the settlement process forward," explained Kenneth Bialkin, who earlier this year became lead counsel in the talks for Italy's largest insurer, Assicurazioni Generali.
Even as a worldwide search was launched to locate and pay insurance policies of Jewish Holocaust victims and their heirs, a major Israeli group rejected offers by the new rightist Austrian government to resolve its outstanding Holocaust-era claims.
"It is imperative that we not fall into Haider's trap and let him use the back of the Jewish people to gain recognition and legitimacy from the world," Salai Meridor, chairman of The Jewish Agency, told The Jewish Week.