Survivors protest
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Another Shoah disgrace

Holocaust survivors continue to suffer as government fails to pay money it owes

It appears that there are some phenomena that cannot be comprehended by common sense or basic logic. We cannot even grasp them. In Israel 2008, the Knesset Committee was forced to establish an official commission of inquiry in order to look into – no, not a failure that is related to war; rather, a committee that would look into the reasons why the relevant government ministries have not yet paid the funds they were supposed to transfer to Holocaust survivors.


That is, we are talking about money that these government ministries themselves decided should be paid last September already. What in God’s name prevented from them from doing so right away?


After all, it is clear that once these ministries made the decision, they also made sure to decide on the criteria for payment and arranged the required budget. “The money will be paid in January,” the prime minister said at the time.


Back then already I did not quite understand why these allowances could not be paid after the two or three weeks needed in order to look into the requests for payment and analyze whether they meet the criteria. Perhaps the procedure is more complicated than what it appears to be, I thought.


Nothing has changed

Yet here comes January, and we see no payments. “The money will be handed over in March” said officials. Six months after the decision has been taken.


And what about the finance minister? And what about the welfare minister? And the prime minister? In any case, Israeli governments of past generations have done nothing in order to mitigate the conditions of Holocaust survivors living in Israel. The tiny allowances they deserve by law were barely paid out to them, and even this was done after a tortuous process in most cases.


As long a most Shoah survivors were younger and able to work and make a reasonable living, the problem was not so acute. Yet once they became older and ill, the situation changed of course and they became needy. Yet still, the State did nothing.


I wrote on several occasions, as did others, that the government must do everything in its power in order to come to the aid of those who suffered so terribly when they were younger. Yet nothing has changed.


And now, we see the establishment of a commission of inquiry. Another disgrace for the relevant ministers and the entire government – including the person who heads it.


פרסום ראשון: 01.08.08, 08:59
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