MKs pledge to tackle Holocaust survivors' poverty

By
April 29, 2013 21:43

“How is it possible that there are survivors who live without heating? Let us die with dignity,” survivor Dora Roth tells MKs.

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Holocaust survivors protest budget shortage

Holocaust protest 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/ The Jerusalem Post)

Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen said on Monday he is committed to tackling the problem of poverty among Holocaust survivors in Israel.

Speaking during a meeting of the Knesset’s Welfare, Labor and Health Committee headed by Likud Beytenu MK Haim Katz, Cohen said that “it is inconceivable that there are poor Holocaust survivors today” and stressed that he would be willing to lead any initiative to tackle the problems of survivors.

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“It is time for action, not just talk,” Katz stated on Monday, adding that he will initiate a bill aimed at facilitating the lives of survivors “as long as they live among us.”

“The problem is slowly disappearing and in another 15 years, there will be no one to help,” he added.

“I am amazed that no one [has] tackled the issue and formulated it yet,” Cohen said.

“I am ready to take responsibility and to chase after the Finance Ministry to expand the current budget,” the minister added, saying that he would support a bill on the subject.

Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) said that once survivors’ needs are clearly defined, the Treasury will find the appropriate funds, “despite the budget hole existing today.”

Avi Dichter, the chairman of the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel, stated at the meeting that “extracting the poverty problem from among survivors is not a complicated task.”

“You can postpone investments in things like infrastructure and desalination because you can rebuild them,” he said, “The issue of Holocaust survivors, we cannot make up for later.”

“All this does not interest us,” Dora Roth, a Holocaust survivor from Tivon, told MKs on Monday. “How is it possible that there are survivors who live without heating? It is a shame. Let us die with dignity.”


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