The Knesset’s Labor, Health and Welfare Committee Chairman has promised to submit a bill that would give more aid to Holocaust survivors in Israel.
“We have to push this forward quickly, to ease Holocaust survivors’ lives while they are still with us. The problem is going away – in 15 years, there will not be anyone left to give to,” MK Haim Katz said Monday, during a debate to discuss the issue.
Welfare Minister Meir Cohen agreed. “I’m amazed that nobody took charge of this issue… I’m prepared to take responsibility and to pursue the Finance Ministry to get the budget expanded,” he said.
A 2007 report called to both increase the number of survivors eligible for special assistance and to set a minimum level of aid that would guarantee survivors the ability to live with dignity. Katz said he would push legislation based on the report.
Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) said that Finance Minister Yair Lapid would be willing to expand the budget as needed. “When the needs have been defined we will find the necessary funds, despite the current financial hole. There is no one more willing to help than Finance Minister Lapid in this matter,” he said.
According to a recent report, some 67 percent of Holocaust survivors expressed dissatisfaction with the way Israeli governments have handled their needs, believing more could have been and can still be done to improve their conditions. An earlier report this year showed that 1 in 4 Holocaust survivors in Israel live in poverty.