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Journalists Apologize for Claims Conference Portrayal

The two journalists behind a 2008 documentary that portrayed the Claims Conference as a corrupt organization issued an apology yesterday and committed to paying NIS 150,000 ($40,000) to a Holocaust nonprofit, ending a libel suit that had been filed against them.

Orly Vilnai and Guy Meroz issued the apology to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany for any harm that their film, “Moral Reparations – The Struggle Continues,” might have done to the organization.

The documentary was aired on Israel’s Channel 2 on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2008. The film was a damning indictment against the Claims Conference, which was painted as a corrupt organization that exploits Holocaust survivors and cheats them out of their money. The film was produced by Shamayim Productions, which also signed the apology.

Following the broadcast, the Claims Conference filed an NIS 4 million ($1.1 million) libel suit against Vilnai (who also writes for Haaretz) and Meroz in Jerusalem District Court, claiming, “The film is a cruel, distorted, despicable and contemptible libel, which aimed to advance the personal interests of the accused through an unprecedented destructive campaign.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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