President Reuven Rivlin expressed criticism of the state for failing to care for the needs of Holocaust survivors in his speech at the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at Yad Vashem Wednesday night.
Rivlin said that the issue required “soul-searching” by the country, saying that Holocaust survivors have not received the respect they deserved.
“Even to the present day, the State of Israel does not take every measure it can in order to take care of the Holocaust survivors,” said Rivlin.
“My brothers and sisters, survivors, the heroes of Israel's revival, I came here today on my behalf, and on behalf of the people of Israel, on behalf of the State of Israel, and I ask each one of you, before it is too late, for forgiveness. We did not understand, we did not want to understand, and we have not done enough.”
According to data released by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Survivors, there approximately 189,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel, 45,000 of whom live under the poverty line.
Rivlin said the Holocaust demonstrated the need for the Jewish people to be in charge of its own fate, and that it should never outsource its own security, although adding that the State of Israel “is not, under any circumstances, compensation of the Holocaust.”