An Israeli couple, both renowned journalists, issued an apology Monday, over a film they directed, to the Jewish organization responsible for negotiating with Germany on restitution for Holocaust survivors.
The film, “Moral Reparations – The Struggle Continues”, charges that The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany – better known as the Claims Conference – has “more than $1 billion” in its accounts and is withholding it from needy survivors. In 2008, the Claims Conference filed a NIS 4 million libel suit against the journalists, stating that “the film is a cruel and distorted calumny,” is “replete with false factual allegations,” and that “the spirit of the film is sometimes anti-Semitic.” The timing of the television broadcast in Israel – on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2008 – “turned the Claims Conference into the enemy of the Jewish people.” The libel suit was filed on September 4, 2008.
Three years later, the sides reached an agreement whereby the journalists, Orly Vilnai and Guy Meroz, together with the production company Shamayim Productions Ltd., issued an official apology and committed to paying NIS 150,000 to the Claims Conference.