In wake of Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies on Monday, an online petition which originally appeared in June 2013 gained significant ground, aiming to convince the government to provide Holocaust survivors in the country with free electricity.
The petition was posted last year by Shorashim Shel Netina (Roots of Giving), a non-profit organization for the benefit of Holocaust survivors.
The petition calls on the, "citizens of Israel to take part in the improvement of living conditions for Holocaust survivors so that we won't hear about survivors who have their electricity shut off."
- 50,000 Holocaust survivors in poverty, 50% isolated
- A warm home for Holocaust survivors
- German guardians of Jews' treasure searching for heir
Shorashim Shel Netina listed other reasons that free electricity is important for Holocaust survivors including, "So that their food doesn't go bad and their medicines kept in the refrigerator remain useful. Their shallow pockets can feel a little more comfortable."
Reports by the Foundation for the Benefit of the Holocaust Victims in Israel are released yearly on the financial situation of Israel's population of Holocaust survivors.
This year the report noted that 50,000 of Israel's survivors are living below the poverty line while 60 percent of those live on a frugal income of 3,000 shekels per month.
A new program is being funded by the Ministry of Finance, allotting one billion shekels per year to give survivors free medications, higher subsidies from the National Insurance Institute of Israel and other benefits.
Two years ago the Ministry of Finance also awarded survivors with a 50 percent discount on electricity prices, but Shorashim Shel Netina believes that more should still be given.
"We call on the State of Israel to take a step of courage and make an investment that won't hurt us, but will give us true honor," the NGO wrote on the petition. "If we have to choose who gets free electricity, let's give to survivors instead of businessmen."
The petition stood at just over 20,000 signatures on Tuesday morning with large support from social media in Israel.
The petition can be viewed and signed at: http://www.atzuma.co.il/netinaelect