Dorner: State also to blame
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Eitan. Demands change
Photo: Gil Yohanan
"We need to take better care of living Holocaust survivors rather than invest extra money in memorializing," said retired Judge Dalia Dorner during a parliamentary discussion regarding the Claims Conference on Monday.
Dorner, who headed a State investigative committee in charge of exposing flaws in handling the affairs of the Holocaust survivors in Israel over the years, restated the claim that the money received by the Claims Conference must go directly to Holocaust survivors, as written in her report.
She also criticized the government, which in her opinion is investing funds received by the conference in infrastructure unrelated to the survivors' special benefits.
"Israel's government must first take a look at itself. The funds transferred by the Claims Conference did not go directly to the survivors. I don't think the conference's money should be used as the State's 'petty cash bank'," she stated.
Claims Conference representatives, who have been dealing with harsh criticism recently heaped upon them by many different sources in the country, arrived at the meeting accompanied by media consultants.
When asked by Ynet why they felt the need to hire such services their attorney answered, "The conference has recently suffered character assassination, and this is also harming the Holocaust survivors."
The Claims Conference has recently filed a libel suit against Orly Vilnai Federbush and Guy Meroz, who directed a documentary slamming the conference's conduct and fund management. The film sparked a debate that eventually led to the establishment of a Knesset investigative committee into the matter.
Minister of Pensioner Affairs Rafi Eitan presented his ministry's demands during the discussion, including a structural change in the conference and the formation of a multi-annual plan handled by an objective third party for the transfer of funds to the survivors, with major sums handed over during the first few years in order to assist those at death's door.
Chairman of the parliamentary investigative committee, MK Ofir Pines (Labor), dubbed the Claims Conference "a covert organization", and explained that "the conference is an organization being conducted without transparency", seeing as there is a need for a committee to forcefully examine it.