Holocaust survivors gathered in front of the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem on
Sunday morning to protest the Treasury’s handling of the budget allocated to the
Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel, which reimburses
survivors’ annual medical expenses.
Last month, the foundation had
announced the suspension of financial benefits survivors can receive for their
medical needs for the 2012 year due to an overflow of requests and a shortage in
the budget allocated to the foundation by the Finance Ministry.
to Omri Harush, spokesman of the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims
in Israel, 9,100 applications were responded to in 2012. Since the suspension of
the aid, 6,000 applications, which have already been approved by the foundation,
remain unanswered because of the financial shortage.
“It’s a question of
another NIS 25 million missing in order to satisfy those 6,000 applications for
this year’s medical expenses,” he added, “In terms of the Treasury’s budgets,
it’s really not much money.”
“We can’t tell Holocaust survivors to buy
glasses or even diapers that they sometimes need, next year,” Harush
The Finance Ministry wrote a statement on the issue last month
saying that “the ministry financially supports various public institutions which
provide assistance for Holocaust survivors socially, economically and medically.
The foundation, like others, is however independent in terms of how it
distributes its money.
“It needs to plan its operations by considering
the amount of the support and providing assistance to all those entitled to it,”
the ministry wrote.
“This is not the first time it has happened,” a
source within the ministry told The Jerusalem Post
better though, because previously, they used to run out of money by April, this
years it’s November. The bottom line is they really need to know how to manage
During the demonstration in Jerusalem on Sunday morning,
participants held signs that said: “I also vote in January” and “Because
tomorrow will already be too late.”
Meanwhile, another group of Holocaust
survivors affiliated with the foundation protested the issue in Tel Aviv, in
front of government offices.