A bill to increase assistance to needy Holocaust survivors passed a preliminary
reading in the Knesset on Wednesday, with 43 MKs in favor and none
The legislation, proposed by MK Merav Michaeli (Labor), would
double the funding Hashava – The Company for Location and Restitution of
Holocaust Victims’ Assets spends on aiding survivors to a minimum of NIS 200
million per year.
“Israel deals more with the myth of the Holocaust, the
trauma. Our emphasis is always on our enemies and not on our lives,” Michaeli
said, presenting the bill in the plenum.
“The survivors were witnesses to
the trauma. Look them in the eyes and give them the life they
At least 80% of the money will go directly to survivors, rather
than to companies or NGOs that would provide them with goods, saving overhead
According to Michaeli, “since its establishment, Hashava has had a
conflict of interest, increasing overhead costs while inefficiently using funds
at the expense of the survivors and their inheritors.
In light of the
large amounts of money [Hashava] has, and since the number of survivors
decreases each year, it should immediately increase the aid funds and ensure
that it directly reaches the survivors while protecting their rights and
Hashava was founded in 2005 and has located NIS 1.65 billion in
assets that belonged to victims and their families, but by the end of 2012, only
3 percent was transferred to heirs.