or children or grandchildren of survivors, or refugees or children of refugees from Arab countries, unless they are Americans or Russians (and even many Russian Jews are.) Yes, elderly survivors should be helped, but it is not that simple. You also have many others in Israel who are needy, especially the Jews from Ethiopia, the expellees from Gush Katif who still live in trailers. Suddenly gifts for grand kids are not the most important thing. You want to help, see what happened to all that money paid by the Swiss and see that property is restored in other countries. Truth is that Israel was far too poor a country for too many years to do anything about the survivors, and when the reparations finally came from Germany, they were used to build the country. In 1948 and early 50's arrivals to Israel lived in aluminum barracks or tents, no money being available for housing. No jobs. I once spoke to a woman who said that her husband could not find any employment on arrival and she was willing to sell herself for milk for her child. it was that bad. The country had to be built from scratch and absorb damaged and destitute people from Europe and Arab countries. There was no UNWRA for the Holocaust survivors or for Jewish refugees from the Arab lands, Israel could only depend on the generosity of other Jews, mostly in the US. And until recently, the survivors were reluctant to talk about their ordeal, which had made it real easy for everybody to forget that they even existed, and were not some images from history.
Just imagine, only now the Swiss were forced to make the restitution of property left in their care. I was also under the impression that the death camp survivors have been receiving pensions from Germany, after all Waffen SS are, I guess I was wrong.
What happened to that money the Swiss finally coughed up is another story -- apparently Volker and others got paid, the victims were not.
Most Israelis got nothing.
Even we don't have clean hands, 713. In NY there was Jewish gold confiscated from Germans at the end of WW2. Where is it now, I don't know -- it may still be here.
Is it enough of a response for you?